This has nothing to do with sports or TV or radio. But it has to do with 9/11, and I suspect it’s important.
Last month, Friday, Aug. 12, I was at Newark Airport scheduled to fly to Vancouver, British Columbia, with my wife and another couple, her cousins.
The line to pass through security was enormous, far beyond the point where the mazelike barriers feed passengers forward. The back of the line was extended deep down a long hallway. We got in it, and the long, slow post-9/11 airport shuffle began.
Suddenly, a small middle-aged woman wearing a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) uniform moved along that line, pushing a wheelchair while asking, in a thick non-English accent, if anyone was in need of her help.
No one responded. But she nonetheless made it clear that one didn’t need to be disabled for her to assist one of us, that she was available. Stopping, she even insisted that any one of us hop in.
Really, now? OK, let’s see where this caper leads …
We talked/dared Rich, my wife’s first cousin, to sit in the chair. He balked, but then went along with it.
Zoom. Off we went, the four of us, circumventing roughly an hour’s shuffle line, until we reached the screening stations. Along the way, the woman in the TSA uniform said in her broken English, “I take care of you; you take care of me.”
As suspected. She was working a hustle.
When we arrived at the screeners’ positions, Rich arose, suddenly and magically cured of his affliction. The uniformed TSA and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) men and women working this stop didn’t seem to think anything of it. They seemed familiar with this woman as they allowed her to provide us the next position through the nearest scanner.
I reached into my pocket, selected a $5 bill from a fold, and conspicuously handed it to her. No moderately alert TSA or NTSB uniformed personnel in the vicinity could have missed it. It was clear: I was paying off a uniformed TSA worker officer for privileged access.
Everyone nearby in uniform seemed to know the score.
As we stepped through the scanner, our TSA wheel-woman was waiting on the other side. She indiscreetly — well above a whisper — told us she expected more than $5 for her official crooked services rendered. This time she was borderline angry: “Not happy. I took care of you, now you take care of me!” We gave her a few more bucks, again, as conspicuously as we made the first payment.
Again, no uniformed security person even looked sideways at what was going on, or going down. On this shift and at that security position, this must have been business as usual.
Was this one TSA servicewoman working alone, or did the security personnel down the line take a cut of her action? Is cash-out payment to airport security officers for “special favors” a common occurrence, or did we just happen to run into one scammer and co-workers conditioned to look the other way?
That TSA woman, her uniform, her position and the public trust were for sale. She solicited and accepted what amounted to be a bribe, and did so in the wide open, and with impunity. And at a large, international airport, post-9/11.
This uniformed airport security officer wasn’t on the lookout for suspicious characters or even infirm passengers, she was on the lookout for extra cash.
It frankly made us wonder and worry about how far these things go, who’s involved, how deep it runs and just what it takes to bribe your way through an airport.
After all, for less than 10 bucks, four of us got where we were going — and in a hurry. Nine years and 11 months after 9/11, it was all so easy. And it was appalling.
This article originally appeared in the NY POST.
By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
September 15, 2011
The science known as “geo-engineering”, or “terra-forming” sits right over on the extreme end of climate change activist agendas. Many call it dangerous, as it unnecessarily interferes with our planet’s delicate ecosystems, but climate zealots are still of the belief that it’s these sort of quacky measures that could “save the planet” from the 21st century’s most hideous mythological enemy, man-made global warming.
Over the last 10 years, climatists have put forward some glorious, albeit shocking proposals to “fight global warming and climate change”. Among their ideas includes a giant blanket to cover Greenland’s glaciers in order to keep them from melting, giant umbrellas in space to shield us from the sun’s rays, and of course, the bizarre invention of “cap and trade” and the failed carbon market.
Their latest idea is no less extraordinary, and is certainly up there with the wackiest of desperate Victorian inventions ever concocted. Believe it or not, scientists and engineers plan to test their latest “geoengineering” idea in Norfolk, England next month by launching a helium-filled blimp, tethered by a 1 km long hosepipe which will spray mist into the air. By doing this, they are hoping to cool the climate with what they describe as a “simulated volcanic eruption”.
According to a recent report in The Independent, “The project is one of the first geoengineering field trials in the world and could result in the deployment of a fleet of up to 20 giant balloons, each the size of Wembley Stadium, injecting millions of tonnes of sulphate particles at a height of 20km into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight back into space.”
Engineer Hugh Hunt goes on to describe the invention, “This hose would be just like a garden hose, 20km long and we pump stuff up the pipe. The nice thing about it is that we can really have a knob, if you like, which we can control to adjust the rate at which we inject these particles.”
To develop this particular “big green idea”, the group from Bristol University have managed to con the government out of a cool $2.5 million in research grants from the public purse. Their research is paid for by the government’s own Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. As public funds for housing, education, and community support are currently being cut across the board, it is perhaps even more shocking that the governments in Europe and North America continue to throw their finite budgets at what amount to no more than quack-green Victorian science projects.
Members of this government-funded Stratospheric particle injection for climate engineering (Spice) project have also looked at using missiles, and giant “chimneys” in order to send thousands of tonnes of particles into the atmosphere. Amazing.
The year 2011 has without a doubt, been the worst year so far for the man-made global warming effort. Scandal after scandal, resignation after resignation, have successively shaken the climatist/warmist movements from the secure perch they enjoyed back in 2007.
Still though, the movement is pushing forward in a last ditch, propaganda Tet Offensive, through Al Gore’s latest green media circus show entitled “24hrs of Reality”, desperately trying to push the old, fatally flawed, and misleading tenets like “the planet is heating” up, and‘the science is settled’. But above all, we are meant to believe that “every country is in agreement” that man-made CO2 is causing the earth’s temperature to rise, threatening life as we know it. Yes, he still wants you to believe that it’s a global consensus.
Aside from the dodgy science and the crooked academic practices, one of its main handicaps is that it just never made any economic sense.
The liberal utopian mantra of ‘green jobs for everyone’- which was also Obama’s famous campaign plank in 2008, aka the ‘green economy’, was nothing more than a political pipe dream designed to garner public support from those sympathetic to Al Gore’s sermon of global doom at the time, much in the same way that his predecessor, George W. Bush, successfully created a similar mythology- ‘the war on terror’, in order to own public support of any and all policies related to security and military largess.
Rather sadly, Al Gore’s fabled vision, the Green City on the Hill, is rightly buckling under the weight of its own blind, state subsidies and market realities. Only last week, after managing to claw a hefty half billion dollars out of the US Federal government in the form of guaranteed stimulus handouts, Obama and Biden’s number one green pet, solar energy firm Solyndra, was put down for good, via Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A bigger slap in the face one could not get.
Still, however, mainstream media gatekeepers continue their vain attempt to keep the popular modern mythology of anthropogenic global warming and its sister, climate change, as alive as possible. There is still an industry in the alarmist movement, and as long as states and institutions are still handing out billions of dollars per annum in research grants, then I’m afraid we will still have to see some of the wacky scenarios like Bristol University’s 1km hosepipe cum-volcano… for some time to come.
Regardless, the reality curve has finally caught up to climatists. As science gradually makes its way back into line with reality and real world observation, it follows that many of the expensive, government-run climate bureaucracies erected since 2000 will also fall by the wayside as a result.
Soon, very soon, politicians will no longer be able to use scientists as scapegoats, as in “it’s not our fault, they told us CO2 was heating up the planet”. When that time arrives, then the climate alarmist political agenda will have died a certain death. That time is nigh.
What happens when a typical Tri-state, Jewish-American princess away at college tells her parents she’s now dating an Italian stallion? Strictly not kosher.
Listen to this recording of a phone prank call, the results are hilarious.
My life… already!
RT: Riding a three-wheeled Harley Davidson, Russian PM Vladimir Putin has been seen leading a column of bikers into the Russian port of Novorossiysk for a grand bike show. The event is organised by one of the country’s most prominent motorbike clubs, the Night Wolves. About 50,000 people have gathered to see a rock concert and stunt show on the menu.
Heavy Metal Putin displays a show leather and chains for his Russian fans.
By Dan Delicious
Stirring Trouble Internationally
I wonder, I just wonder whether the Middletons, the parents I mean, realise what they have gotten their children into with that royal marriage?
Yes, sure, at all looks like a fairytale at the moment: their Katie has married into royalty and is looking at the prospect of becoming queen one day. Financially she should be secure from now on, even if that ‘brute’ dumps her at some point and goes after a much younger chick, who is probably born as you read this, with some meat on her, if you know what I mean.
And the younger daughter, Pippa, is supposedly looking set to make a bundle out of her new found status as the sister of the future queen. Pippa would have probably made it even without the royal connection, but now it all looks even more interesting and financially rewarding.
As for their brother James, he seems to the be the sort of lad who has already prepared himself for a new life in the fast lane, having opened like a dozen companies to make some serious moolah. Won’t let us down, the Middleton’s are probably saying to themselves, looking lovingly at young Jamie. The future looks good for him.
And as for Ma Middletton and Pa Middleton, well, they should make a few bob for themselves in catering, on top of what they’ve already made on the royal wedding, with the patter of the little feet hopefully coming soon.
Yep, seemingly things are looking good for the Middleton clans, even though most of them will never again get invited for tea at the Palace.
But in the real world it doesn’t really work like that. Trouble lies ahead for all the younger Middletons, with Katie finding it very tough to handle her now found position, just like it happened with her late mother-in-law, who quickly realised that being a wife of the future king is not at all like she imagined from reading all those fairytales and watching fantasy films. Nope, it’s quite a drag really, especially if you are not very bright and like to party a lot and do pretty much nothing. A pleasure cruise it ain’t, that’s for certain.
And as for her sister and brother, they will also find out very quickly that being related to the wife of the future king has its serious drawbacks. Like, for example, every time they would be venturing into some sort of business, they would find that all sorts of dodgy characters would be targeting them, in the hope of using their ‘connections’. Or, even worse, they would be accused of profiting from their family ties to the Royal Family.
And it will eventually come to a point when both Pippa and James would realise that they can’t really make all that wonderful money that they dreamt of making. And it would start to get on their nerves and they would not understand how come is it that that they can’t become fabulously rich, when it looked so promising initially. And they might even start doing silly things and getting into trouble, like it happened before them with so many people, who tried to use their royal family connections. And it would all become embarrassing, with sister Katie avoiding them.
Yes, life’s a bitch, guys and girls. If you bite off more than you can chew, you choke on it.
Uncle Gary would probably be the only one in the family who might get some benefit out of his new found fame initially. But it won’t last too long, as he is bound to overstep the boundaries, considering his past occupations and habits. In fact, it might even backfire on him, being the simple soul that he is.
So, anyway you look at it, it doesn’t really bide well for the Middletons. They should have had their Katie marry a successful dentist. Would have made more sense for everyone.
– End –
In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment…
The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.” The clerk responded, ” That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”
He was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day…
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana..
In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.
Hell, we drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.
We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service..
We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were, just because we didn’t have the green thing back then ?!?
(Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a clever young follower of the Green Church)
By Stone Pinkerton
After spunking over £400,000 on their official Olympic logo, the London 2012 Committee has drawn fire from just about everyone on the planet who has at least a shred of design taste or a hint common sense. Seeing the situation deteriorating rapidly, the editorial board at Gonzo Town called an emergency meeting this past weekend in a last-ditch attempt to rescue the city’s fortunes.
According to London 2012 organising committee chairman Seb Coe, “This is the vision at the very heart of our brand… and (we) promise to use the Olympic spirit to inspire everyone and reach out to young people around the world.”
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge was noticeably apologetic about their dodgy 2012 brand, “This is a truly innovative brand logo that graphically captures the essence of the London 2012 Olympic Games – namely to inspire young people around the world through sport and the Olympic values.
Rumours are rife that connected city design agency Wolff Ollins ran a free student competition in order to get their bizarre Olympic logo.
Gonzo Town’s resident expert sporting analyst, Chuck Amador, called our emergency meeting in the wake of the London 2011 Riots, in the hope of generating a more relevant and timely symbol for the games.
Amador explained, “Good Lord. Seb Coe must have been on some serious ‘ting when he gave the official logo the nod. Most people I know think that it(the logo) looks more like Lisa and Bart Simpson engaging in bare naughtiness. It’s a bad joke that cost the city half a million.”
Former tennis star Amador adds, “We just saw London go up in flames a few weeks ago, mass rioting and looting by an army of hoodies and chavs. We need a logo that really reflects the true of character of London going into 2012. I think we’ve cracked it, I’m very pleased with Gonzo Town’s selection, it shows that we have our finger on the pulse, unlike Jacques Rogge who can barely looks like he has a pulse.”
“The only thing that raises these guys’ pulses is a fat brown envelope, which is probably how that logo got picked in the first place. He (Rogge) reminds me of FIFA’s Sepp Blatter, or better- Kazakhstan’s President Nazarbayev- all three are overweight men who drink too much port and have all declared themselves President for Life“, scathed an irate Chuck Amador.
The penny really dropped in Gonzo Town after the riots, when Seb Coe’s teen ambassador for the games was nicked for vandalising a police car, after being shopped to the Old Bill by her own mum. This was yet more egg on the face of Lord Coe and the London 2012 Olympic effort, a debacle that has left London’s credibility as a cutting edge cultural capital in question.
Gonzo Town sprung into action, putting out a tender to many of London’s top design agencies to re-do Jacques Rogge and Seb Coe’s racey Simpsons version of the logo. The big agencies were all pretty useless and expectedly so, looking to make an easy buck off this tragic situation- all of them also offered a drink under table to this editor, shameful ethics. Luckily, our morals are not so easily bent. In the end, it was one of our own Gonzo readers whose submission would carry the torch and light that eternal flame that embodies the state of London today…
Gonzo Town’s Chuck Amador summed it up, “If you look at Britain today, it’s really all about chavs and hoodies running wild and thieving things, yet they will put it all on the line for a free pair of trainers- that’s so London, and quite Olympic in way. So we couldn’t be more pleased with our winning design”.
“Imagine, if these overpaid sporting-committee types got real and stopped trying to be so ‘street’ and so cool, getting down with youth, they would’ve delivered a decent brand for the Olympics, you get me bruv? “
We could’ve saved them 400K, all they had to do was ask. In the end, we had to sort out the damn thing out ourselves. Here here.