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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Weekend Madman

Wednesday, August 13, 2006

 

Seeing Red

Lieberman was even wearing a solid RED tie at his press conference to announce his running as an independent.
I mean, c'mon, the guy’s a Republican…..

-Kevin Connell



"Puffing"

"Isn't it amazing that 5 years after the event (9/11) we're still talking about developing explosive detection devices?"
-9/11 co-chairman and former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN) on Meet the Press

Recently I heard the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party argument that it was too expensive to airline passengers to have "puffer" machines everywhere they should be at our nation's airports. You all might remember the "puffer" machines as those walk through, phone booth type devices that detect even the smallest amount of explosive residue on a person as they walk through it.

Those same people state that the "puffer" machines will make lines intolerably long and passengers will balk at their use. I used to fly a lot, and let me tell you, I wouldn't be one of them.

Two years ago, I published the following on NationalView:

The Gate Security Idea
As it stands now, we're told to arrive at the airport 2 hours before our flight time. That makes sense, due to the long lines, extra security, and lack of extra airport personnel to help speed along the process.

We need to segregate the gates from the rest of the areas in the airport (or put up a gate around the gates). While the passengers are waiting for their flight, all of their carry on luggage, personal items, shoes, pockets, etc. should be searched in full by one of two guards that are stationed at that gate for at least one hour before the flight is scheduled to depart. This 2-person guard team should be paid for by the federal government, but charged to the airline.

Using Newark Liberty Airport during the month of February 2004 as our example, the numbers would work out like this:

1,159 flights per day
100 active gates for arriving and departing passengers
776,088 departing passengers per day
20 hours of flight departures per day

 

February 2004 - Source - http://www.panynj.gov

Newark Liberty Airport

Flights

Passengers

Domestic Air Carrier

17,288

1,377,700

International Air Carrier

4,505

537,103

Commuter - Regional Carrier

10,682

291,760

General Aviation

1,122

 

Total flights/ February 2004

33,597

2,206,563

Average flights/ day

1,159

76,088

 

Gates are used intermittently during the day, so each 2-person security team would alternate between 2 gates during their 8-hour shift. Assuming 3 shifts and 50 active gates at a time, we would need 300 guards on duty per day. Divide the cost of 300 guards per day, at $200 per day total cost per guard (including benefits), the total guard cost would be $60,000 per day, or less than $1.00 per passenger.

Lets go crazy and have a surcharge of $3.00 per passenger per ticket to increase our airport security. Let’s tell the passengers our plan and ask their opinion. What do you think they’d say now?

This original article didn't mention the "puffer" machine, but it should have. Here is the idea continued:

Each passenger would get to the airport about a half hour earlier than before. After going through the security measures they presently go though, each passenger would arrive at their gate, which would actually have a partition around it and two TSA police officers ready to get to work. The gate area would be divided into two parts: Those who have been inspected and those who haven't. Here is the process:
-Enter airport to receive ticket and check luggage
-All luggage goes through an xray machine and "puffer" machine and can be manually inspected
-The passenger goes through the same process as they do now: The xray machine, the metal detector and any searches that any TSA worker deems necessary
-They get to the side of their gate that doesn't have the door to the plane in it and wait for their name to be called by the TSA inspector. Preferably, there will be one male and one female inspector
-Here, they will first go through a "puffer" machine
-If anything unusual comes out of the "puffer" machine, they'll be asked to disrobe (behind a partition) and their clothing will be inspected and put through the "puffer" again. They'll be given a robe and have to go through the machine a second time as well. Any actions after this will be determined by a TSA supervisor
-All carry-on luggage, handbags, pockets and purses will be inspected here, as well
-Once the inspection is complete, the passenger will be allowed to sit down on the other side of the gate area. If any passenger needs to leave this area for any reason, they will have to go through the process again.
-They can now board the plane


"This (protecting Americans at home) has to be a priority... and it is... but not a top priority," of the Bush administration.
"Any time you spend a tremendous amount of money (referring to Iraq) it's a distraction," from
protecting Americans at home.
-9/11 Chairman and former Governor Tom Kean (R-NJ) on Meet the Press


It's my belief that Americans will pay the extra three dollars to feel safer, and be safer when they fly. it's my opinion that Americans want to feel safe and will put up with these minor inconveniences in order to fly our friendly skies.

Yes, it is an inconvenience and yes, it is more costly, and yes, it is also necessary.

-Noah Greenberg



Idiot-Boy and His Idiot-Minions

24 suspected terrorists have been arrested in England, on the verge of suicide bombing ten passenger airliners enroute to the United States.

Aren't we lucky today, that the Bush administration has spent trillions keeping our military in Iraq, trashing infrastructure and deposing Saddam Hussein, instead of using the resources of the American tax paying public to put an end to Bin Laden, and Al Queda.

But wait, Bush says we are in a war against terrorists.
But wait, we never actually use our military against terrorists, just civilian populations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But wait, the 911 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia.
Wait, the terrorist of today came from (mostly) Pakistan. And that guy Bin Laden, why was he still a free man now? Remind me? How are we fighting the 'War On Terror?'

Way to go, idiot boy. There may well be an 'Axis Of Evil' but in DC there is surely an Axis Of Stupidity' Bush/Cheney/Rice/Rove/Rumsfeld/Gonzales, who today ordered judges across America back to judge school, so they can learn that they cannot deny anyone from asylum in the US, regardless of terrorist ties.


-Rhian



Was the 2004 Election Stolen?

What a question! Of course it was stolen! If we elect a Democratic House and Senate this November we can get the ball rolling on indictments based on the 2004 vote, and on about 450 more fraud and corruption indictments. The question is--even if we can produce overwhelming voter turnout and vast majorities, can we win, considering the tentacles of Republican corruption?

How come some people are just getting the word on this--even Robert Kennedy? There was plenty of info on election fraud in Ohio, New Mexico, Iowa, Florida, and some other states, the day after the 2004 election. It was all over the web and it was not Jason Leopold off-the-wall wild stuff but careful reporting by reliable, cautious observers and analysts. A lot of us, including me, thought it was quite enough to bring charges and indictments--resulting in a full recount and, given all the intimidation of minority voters, a re-election. Of course, none of that got into the multinational-owned newspaper or TV news. And most people are frozen to the Brain-shriveling Box for news.

I was infuriated with Kerry and his staff for not fighting Mexican-style in 2004, just as I had been with Gore. However, the system is stacked against a candidate who had to spend time chasing down lies carefully invented and distributed by Karl Rove, that must be address and denied. Our campaigns go on far too long, and they allow TV/radio ads, which truly democratic nations have outlawed or minimalized. I can understand, in such a long-drawn-out campaign season, why a decent candidate must be worn to a frazzle the day after election and only wants to sleep.

Let them sleep--but from now on I hope Democrats are ready and waiting with a staff of loudmouthed, carefully-prepared Constitutional lawyers and cadres of marchers, to take back our country. Because even in our Philadelphia 9th Ward, which went about 90% for Kerry in 2004, no one can ever again expect an honest vote count, now that rigged voting machines are skewed toward absolutist GOP control.

Massive vote fraud will happen again in Ohio this year, perhaps worse than in 2004. That's absolutely predictable because Ohio is a state so deep in GOP corruption that it smells like an outhouse. There WILL BE major vote fraud this November, and the Dems had better be preparing NOW. Everywhere. Even here in Philly.

This is no conspiracy "theory." This is the real thing. The same mentality crying "conspiracy theory" soothed the Germans not to worry about Hitler.


-Jenny Hanniver



In response to, "After raising the threat level on the "Crayola" scale to red, one wonders if the Bushites have to pay former Homeland Security Secretary, Tom Ridge a commission," Robert Scardapane writes:

We are going to hear this right up to election day - terror, terror, terror.

The terror alerts will be mainly bogus but they suit the Repugs purpose to keep the nation in a state of fear. The Repugs hope that will paralyze people into voting for them on the basis that they are better for security; that is of course complete rubbish!



In response to, "(Lieberman running as an Independent) that will surely mean another Republican Senator in Washington. Just what we need. Joe may care more about Joe than this country," Robert Scardapane writes:

I don't think so Pat. The Republicans have a very weak candidate in the race. Their strategy appears to be supporting Lieberman. The real threat is that Lieberman may win as an Independent because he will draw considerable Republican votes while Lamont is not likely to gain from Republicans. For Lamont to win, he must carry the vast majority of Democrats (even if they voted for Lieberman in the primary). He must also bring in more Independents; the Iraq War is the key to winning them over.
One good sign for Lamont was that over 10,000 non-affiliated voters (different from registered to the Independent party) affiliated to Democrats in this election. Hopefully that means they will stick with Democrats. I think Lamont is in good shape right now; he'll need to maintain an energetic campaign for the next three months to win and must be prepared to respond to a Lieberman campaign that has turned to "bottom feeding" tactics in recent weeks.



And in response to, "Well, I guess that bowing out gracefully isn't in Lieberman's vocabulary. he might just have given his Connecticut Senate seat to whoever his GOP challenger might be. I'm severely disappointed in Joe Lieberman," Robert Scardapane writes:

Good for you Noah! I think that at one time Joe was a good Democrat. I just can't explain what happened to him. But, Joe is not even a DINO (Democrat In Name Only) anymore now that he is officially independent.



In response to, "I agree about the 2000 election. As a Jew, it hurts for me to say this, but if Gore would have selected a non-Jewish candidate to run as his VP, in my opinion, he would have won the election and who knows what we could have been able to avoid and endured during these last 6 years, " Victoria Brownworth writes:

Gore chose someone to the RIGHT of his own politics because he thought it would help him win the election. He was correct that Lieberman was to the right. But Lieberman didn't "lose the election" for Gore.

First of all, Gore won the election--I hate to keep reminding people of that fact since we no longer live in a reality-based politik, but--it is a fact. Second, despite my personal loathing of Lieberman then and now based solely on his right-wing politics while pretending to be a Democrat, Gore made a far different mistake than choosing Lieberman.

For those who loved Clinton, Gore was not Clinton enough. For those who hated Clinton, Gore was too close to Clinton. And tactically, rather than accentuate the accomplishments of the Clinton Administration, Gore chose to distance himself from them--a fatal political mistake.

And please, let us not forget the Nader factor, shall we?

Lieberman's religion/ethnicity isn't the issue and making it the issue is just wrong. Yes, e's the "house Jew" for the Bush Administration, but the Democrats have never had the "Jewish problem" the Republicans have always had--liberal and Jew used to be synonymous.

So don't try and make the Lieberman debacle about Jews or even Israel--it's about bad politics. Nothing more, nothing less. Lieberman made bad political choices when he got in bed with Bush. His being Jewish had nothing to do with his bad political choices nor with Gore's ultimate defeat, which was orchestrated by BushCo, Lieberman's best friends.

If Lieberman were a real Democrat, he would accept his defeat gracefully or he would just run as the Republican he is. But remember, when he was chosen as Gore's running mate, he refused to step down from his Senate seat then, too. Lieberman is the epitome of the selfish politician--another reason he should just go to the party of DeLay and Co that he represents. But let's stop making this about anything but what it is: Lieberman's a sleaze and bagman for Bush. That's why he lost the Democratic seat, and deservedly so.

 

There's enough real anti-Semitism out there. We certainly don't need to invent any.



Victoria Brownworth responds to Noah's glowing endorsement of Joe Lieberman and Lieberman's subsequent loss to Ned Lamont:

You said that Lieberman had never betrayed the Democratic Party. What was that, then, the night Lamont won? Because it looked like a big, fat betrayal not just of Connecticut Democrats but ALL Democrats. (Just like it was a betrayal when Lieberman made it a point to side against the same Clintons who stumped for him on the floor of the Senate and side with the Ken Starr sleaze machine.)

If voters were happy with Lieberman, they would have re-elected him as they did many (inexplicable) times before. They felt he was acting a little too like a Republican--because he voted with George Bush as many times as Bill Frist. Which is alarming to me, and should be to any other person with leanings left of center.

If Lieberman were a loyal Democrat, after losing---despite having ten ton tanks worth of Democratic heavyweights stumping or him--he would have done what we expect everyone else to do: congratulate the winner and tell him that he would do everything in his power to see that a Democrat fills the seat in November for Connecticut.

Instead Lieberman has once again pledged his allegiance to Bushco by promising to lose the seat to a Republican by being a spoiler in the race, because there are obviously anti-woman, anti-gay, pro-rich, pro-corporate, pro-war Democrats (here we call them Republicans) who will vote for him, splitting the already tight vote, thus ensuring a Republican victory.

You might not be done with Lieberman, but I surely am. And he has proven he has no fealty except to his own megalomania and political sleaziness. Shame on him and shame on his supporters.



In response to, "Although Lieberman tends to be way too friendly with President Bush (that kiss made me sick), I haven't seen him betray his party or his constituency," Victoria Brownworth responds:

You must not have been looking very hard: he has betrayed his party on women's rights, gay rights, rights for the poor, rights for Black Americans, rights for students in public schools (he's a HUGE fan of the voucher)....the list is SO LONG that it's hard to understand how you can make this statement.

Don't worry--Ned Lamont has been VERY VOCAL about his support for Israel. and since Lieberman has, like Bushco, done nothing for Israel except help make them as universally reviled as he's made us, Lamont can only be a step up in that regard... and in every other.



And in response to, "Now I know that many of you are reading this saying "How can he (me) support Lieberman?" It's simple: I agree with him on just about every other issue and I'm not willing to throw him away just yet," Victoria Brownworth writes:

I'm very sorry to hear that you are against gay rights--actually outright violently homophobic and standing beside jerry falwell on this issue. i'm sorry that you don't support plan b or ru486, both of which would prevent numerous abortions. I'm sorry you don't support a raise in the minimum wage. these are all things that Lieberman stands against--so if you stand with Lieberman, you stand against them as well.


* I did say "JUST about", didn't I? -NG


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-Noah Greenberg