Weekend Madman

Friday-Sunday, June 3-5, 2005


A New "Duh!" and an Airport Security Idea


A confidential report by the Department of Homeland Security says expanding the use of devices that can detect trace amounts of explosives and stationing more armed guards in secure areas.


I wonder how much that little piece of information costs the US taxpayer?

"There is increasing pressure to increase the flow of passengers and their property through security checkpoints. Unfortunately, our analysis has shown there are significant security gaps at checkpoints as they currently exist."
-The TSA Report

But the all-mighty dollar and making sure the big boys in the airline security industry's need to make money takes precedence over passenger safety.

After all... You can always drive from New York to Los Angeles, can't you?

"If, say, a handgun were discovered, the terrorist would have ample ability to retain control of it. T.S.A. screeners are neither expecting to encounter a real weapon nor are they trained to gain control of it."
-The TSA Report

Is this how the Department of Homeland Security is making us safer? Here's a question: When Tom Ridge, the former Homeland Security Secretary was playing with the color coated terrorist elevation level, who was training our airport personnel to make sure Achmed's shoes weren't on fire? (I know... not a very politically correct thing to say, but I failed Rove 101.)

Remember the rush to have the federal government take over airport security? Now they're going to give it back to private industry because they (the Bush administration) can't handle it. Just another way to put our safety in -to the hands of private profiteers.

"Getting as many people through as possible in a way that maintains or improves security - that's the name of the game,"
-Mark O. Hatfield Jr., a T.S.A spokesman

No it isn't, Mr. Hatfield. Protecting the American public is "the name of the game." At least it should be.

"There can be no doubt that their efforts were Herculean, and the resulting system has made the nation safer. However, speed always comes at a cost, and the existing system may neither uniformly provide the degree of security desired, nor do it as efficiently and/or in as customer-friendly a fashion as might be achievable."
-The TSA Report

There they go again. A Bush administration agency patting itself on the back by reviewing their own performance. Are their arms long enough to pat themselves on their own, collective backs?

Rich passengers are able to get through special lines with the approval of special TSA agents just because they possess frequent flyer cards or paid a little extra for first class tickets. Its a good thing that al-Qaeda can't afford to fly first class.

"Urgent attention needs to be given to some security measures that can be taken very quickly at relatively low costs,"
-The TSA Report

As stated before in Madman, Airport security should be more comprehensive and it should be applied to everybody.


Gate Security

As it stands now, we are told to arrive at the airport 2 hours before out 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

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?


February 2004 - Source -

Newark Liberty Airport



Domestic Air Carrier



International Air Carrier



Commuter - Regional Carrier



General Aviation



Total flights/ February 2004



Average flights/ day



As taken from

-Noah Greenberg


All the Tea in China


Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld issued a verbally blunt challenge to China, saying Beijing must be more forthcoming about the intentions of their most recent military buildup, according to published reports.




Hey Rummy,


Bush gave China most favored nation trade status and that is making them rich. Are the Neocons actually surprised that China is building up militarily?

Why does Bush facilitate the destruction of our manufacturing base that makes the United States dependent on China for goods?

Why is Bush making the United States debt slaves to Chinese bankers?


When economic and foreign policy diverge, the results are both comical and tragic.


-Robert Scardapane



New Jersey's Rhetorical Question


How in the world do any of the "Gang of Seven" Republican Candidates for New Jersey's Governor ever expect to govern a state when they can't even get along amongst themselves? In a recent meeting of a New Jersey Suburban School Organization, only two of the seven were invited to speak. While four decided not to show up, Steve Lonegan , stood in defiance at the door with a sour look on his face. He blamed a lawsuit filed against him by the group during his term as Mayor of Bogota, NJ.

First to speak was Brent Schundler, whose campaign posters read Schundler (Re)For(mer) Governor. As the former Jersey City Mayor made his way into the Forsgate Country Club's
banquet room, he had to pass Lonegan. Schundler didn't even look in Lonegan's direction as he passed no more than three feet from him. While Schundler was speaking, Doug Forrester arrived. He waited in the hall until Schundler finished. Schundler left while Forrester entered from the opposite side of the room, as far away from each other as they could get. Lonegan looked on with disdain. I saw much of it on a New Jersey Network broadcast.

All of this happened just days after the top two pretenders to the Governor's mansion, Forrester and Schundler, fought about dirty TV ads just before they were to march in a Memorial

And did you see the "gang of seven" in their latest debate (televised on Channel 7 in New York and Channel 3 in Philadelphia)? They looked more like the 7 dwarfs screaming and begging for Snow White's attention. It was difficult for anyone to get a word in edgewise and when one could, it was the same old political rhetotic as before. LOWER TAXES. DOWN WITH CORRUPTION... Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.

If New Jersey's Greed Over People (GOP) party's top candidates can't get along long enough to march in a parade, then how do they think that they're going to be able to find the "spirit of compromise" that is necessary to New Jersey's "Chief Executive"?

We already have people in charge in Washington, DC that don't listen to their constituents. Do we really need them in Trenton, too?

-Noah Greenberg


More on the Downing Street Memo


Concerning the Downing Street Memo, there are many questions that the White House must answer.  Representative Conyers and 88 House members sent a letter to the White House that asks:

The Bush administration is stonewalling this letter putting the checks and balances in our government at risk. A House committee must be convened to uncover the truth. Congress must live up to it's obligation as representatives of the people.


-Robert Scardapane

Stupid Quotes


"Lower taxes and lower marginal tax rates are leading to more growth. There's an explosion of wealth. We are so wealthy in a world that is profoundly poor."
- Tim Kane, an economist at the Ultra-Conservative Heritage Foundation

If you don't think the Bush administration favors the "hyper-rich" then take a look at this statistic:

The "hyper-rich", that's the richest 0.1 percent of Americans, from 1980 to 2002 (the last year these stats were available), rose $1.2 million, adjusted for inflation. In case you were wondering, that elite group encompasses only 145,000 taxpayers (although I doubt they pay as much of their income as you or I do) who earn at least $1.6 million per year.

"Under the Bush tax cuts, the 400 taxpayers with the highest incomes - a minimum of $87 million in 2000, the last year for which the government will release such data - now pay income,  Medicare and Social Security taxes amounting to virtually the same percentage of their incomes as people making $50,000 to $75,000.

"Those earning more than $10 million a year now pay a lesser share of their income in these taxes than those making $100,000 to $200,000.

"The alternative minimum tax, created 36 years ago to make sure the very richest paid taxes, takes back a growing share of the tax cuts over time from the majority of families earning $75,000 to $1 million - thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars annually. Far fewer of the very wealthiest will be affected by this tax."
-A New York Times computer analysis that wasn't disputed by: The US Treasury Department; the Ultra-Conservative CATO Institute; The just as conservative Heritage Foundation; or Citizens for Tax Justice.

I wonder how many of these "taxpayers" qualify to be on this list?

Let's keep this in perspective: Under Bill Clinton, the "hyper-rich" paid more taxes and expanded breaks for the working poor. Under President Bush, those same "hyper-rich" got the lion's share of the tax break and are doing a whole lot better than they were doing at the end of the Clinton Administration while the working poor remain just that... poor.

The Bush administration seems to look back for its economic plans for the poor.

"Let them eat cake" as an economic policy.

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg