The TSA re-organization and former Head of Security, Kelly Hoggan’s new assignment
There’ll be 1000 screen agents standing around. 1000 screen agents, standing around and if one screen agent should accidentally fall be pushed. there’ll be 999 screen agents, standing around.
And so it is then that we bid farewell to head of security for TSA, Kelly Hoggan who has been removed from his position after the fiasco in excessive pre-security lines. He has been replaced by Darby LaJoye, who is currently deputy assistant administrator. LaJoye was previously federal security director of and LAX and JFK.
LAX and JFK – that sounds really impressive doesn’t it? Except for some small details. In a poll by ‘Travel and Leisure‘, LAX was voted #2 worst airport (ranked 21st for check-in and security process) and JFK was slightly better in #4 worst airport (“Ease of getting a taxi may be the best thing to be said about JFK. You will wait—and wait—in check-in and security lines..”).
We’ve been following the terrible news of flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo that went into the sea with 66 lives lost. Our thoughts go out to the families.
The obvious thought is that it is terrorist related.
It appears there was a fire in the toilets and area underneath the cockpit based on telemetry transmissions. Some news sources are also saying that the pilot spoke to Egyptian air traffic control after the said fire happened.
The Greek Government is saying that the plane turned 90 degrees then spun around 360 degrees. Today, the Egyptian Government is counter claiming that the pilot talking to traffic control and the spin didn’t happen.
Some off the wall tabloid stories are even saying UFO’s were sighted an hour before the crash.
It is likely that we will not get the real story soon especially will take some time to retrieve the black box and there are politics involved in controlling the story.
Nevertheless, what we do know is that this is another catastrophe for the Egyptian tourist industry especially at the Sharm-El-Sheikh resorts where rooms at Radisson Blu Resort are going for less than 20 UK pounds per night. The area already impacted the Russian aircraft bombing and then cutting off of flights from UK.
We guess this is what the fundamentalists want – They need to destroy the village to save the village – and our thoughts go out to all those in Middle East whose livelihoods depended on tourism. In Cairo, the tourism had already been hit after the Coup D’Etat against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
However, we don’t see this sorry story ending anytime soon. Either in the Middle Eastern tourism industry or in the terrorist attempts by ISIS or their affiliates.
This time of year has me thinking about “Spargel zeit” in Germany where in many restaurants in Germany from Mid-April to June, you will see special items on the menu celebrating fresh Asparagus. Note that the Germans prefer white asparagus over the green asparagus that Americans eat.
I remember visiting Augsburg and finding a restuarant that had dedicated “Spargel Fest” menu of nothing but Asparagus items. Multiple soups, appetizers and main courses. I had Spargel mit schinken accompanied with a good Hefeweizen.
If you are in Munich, check out the viktualienmarkt to see some traditional food grocers – see the picture. Just look how fresh it looks.
Buying fresh asparagus at Munich’s Viktualienmarkt.
Still hungry for more, here is a discussion by an Austrialan lady on Spargel Fest. It contains a good recipe for Asparagus soup or Spargelcremesuppe as it is known over there.
To add our 2 Eurocents on best way to cook ’em : The best way is to blanche it but shave them with a European vegetable peeler first.
I’ve got admit I didn’t pay attention too much to the headlines about why we should expect long lines at airports this summer. Then I saw this youtube video taken at O’Hare airport.
The videographer started his video at the beginning of the security line and filmed himself walking to the start of it. The duration just to walk to the back of the line was 2:16. Incredible.
The New York Times is saying that if you are planning on flying, you should allocate HOURS to get through the security lines where the TSA has allocated fewer resources to screening this summer. That’s right – FEWER.
At Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, about 600 passengers missed their flights on March 25 because an inadequate number of screeners led to waits exceeding three hours, airport officials said. Brent D. Cagle, the airport’s interim director of aviation, complained to the T.S.A., calling the episode a “fiasco.” “This situation could have been avoided, had the T.S.A. had the proper staffing (or overtime budget necessary) to meet customer demand,” Mr. Cagle wrote in a letter to the security agency. (T.S.A. officials denied that the wait had ever been that long, telling local reporters that it had been 75 minutes for a short time.)
This was far from an isolated incident. Airports in Atlanta, Miami, New York, Seattle, Denver and Chicago, among others, have all experienced similar problems in recent months. Denver @tsa is always horrendous… 6:07 PM 20 Apr 2016 · Colorado, USA, United States 3 www dot CharlotteFor dot me TSA checkpoints backed up at Charlotte airport during Spring Break.
Last month, Denver Airport advised travelers to get to the airport as much as three hours before their flights. Still, people waited for more than an hour and a half to clear security.
The TSA claims the reason for the long lines are there are more travelers.
They are also understaffed due to employee turnover but they are also inspecting more after a Security audit showed the TSA had missed weapons and explosives in undercover tests.
The Chicago Tribune adds some more details on the TSA numbers where they cut their budget by 10% based on expected uptick on TSA Precheck. It didn’t happen. As the consequence to all this is that people are missing their flights.
Friday morning, American Airlines held at least five flights at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport because of passengers stuck at security lines, according to airline spokesman Ross Feinstein.
On the 7:20 a.m. flight to Las Vegas, 52 of the 160 passengers were not onboard 10 minutes before departure. American held the plane an extra 13 minutes. That allowed 23 passengers to hop onboard, but 29 still missed the jet and arrived on later flights.
At another American hub, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, security lines peaked at one hour and 45 minutes on Thursday.
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian told The Associated Press Thursday that “the longer lines get the more passengers are going to miss flights and there’s not much you can do about that.”
The biggest help to ease lines is to have more fliers enroll in the PreCheck program.
A bit about the TSA Precheck is that it is $85 and valid for 5 years but even some Precheck passengers, had to queue for about 1 hour.
Anne Marie Harrison, a wine saleswoman who has signed up for PreCheck and who flies out of Newark Liberty International Airport about twice a month, said she nearly missed her flight after waiting more than an hour recently.
That day, the security line started downstairs, in the baggage checkin area. That was odd, she said, especially for a Sunday morning when the airport was usually empty
But the pathetic part to all this is the attempt at positive spin by TSA’s administrator, Peter V. Neffenger. “It’s really a good news story. The economy is doing well, Americans are traveling more, and this equates with record numbers at our checkpoints”.
What a dick head.
Since I plan to be traveling this summer, I’m seriously looking at the PreCheck now if this will help bypass some of these lines.
Latest news from Texas is that two most liberal cities of Texas – Houston and Austin – have demanded that Uber / Lyft, conduct more stringent security background checks above what the companies are currently willing to do.
May 7th Austin: Prop 1 was voted DOWN so that potential drivers MUST do finger print based criminal checks.
Both Uber and Lyft are now saying they will shut down. Temporarily of course.
Uber and Lyft argues that their own background checks were stringent enough and that finger-printed checks by Austin city was an overkill.
From the Austin Statesman:The Voting populace didn’t agree and in Austin’s case, the vote was a backlash against the Uber/Lyft campaign who had spent $8m versus anti-prop 1 spend of $0.1m
Dahlings, there is a follow up to my post ‘Making America great..In London” where an artist Illma Gore, painted a nude Donald Trump where it is hanging (or not so hanging if you read the story) in a London art gallery which in turn, has become a tourist attraction. Apparently, it is showing in the UK rather than the US after threats of legal action. The painting itself looks good except for one small detail.
Last week, the artist reported she was punched in the eye by someone who then shouted”TRUMP 2016″. Yesterday, Ms Gore gave an interview to the UK’s Guardian where she gives her version of the story which sounds mainly credible and also attempts to explain all the anonymous reports to Facebook and ‘calls from Trump’s lawyer’.
Not sure what to make of this story, I’d previously looked into Ms. Gore where she is an “Street” artist from Australia who is a bit of a rebel. In a protest against Tony Abbot position on gay marriage, Illma cycled topless though Brisbane with “My Shirt didn’t match my rights”. At the time, Illma posted on her facebook the very profound:
“I got up this morning and made this chick breakfast and instead of thanking me she just said “how did you get in my house” at first I thought I was a sea anemone and then I realised I was a homosexual – I cannot pin point as to whether it was in the utero or even ponder that perhaps I was made this way – after all whom am I to question the wisdom of a greater knowledge?
I know that the world in all of its gloriousness of life, of feeling, of articulation that there is an art of existence and everything we do connotes a metaphysical note in the symphony of life.
Lets move positively further because the future is now and in a moment.
What baffles me is how a human any one human but especially one who wishes to lead our Country to speak for the people can refer to a large part of our nations rights as a ‘fashion’; we are not statistics we are human beings.
There is no such thing as ‘Gay marriage’ it is simply marriage and the right to live a life without being segregated.
In regards Mr Abbotts radical statement “I will not make radical change for the fashion of the moment” I give you a radical response: that today as an artist and as a homosexual I will skate through Brisbane topless and well… I guess today my shirt didn’t match my human rights.”
Outside lesbian cycling protest and obscure facebook postings, I have to say her prior art is very good if you like things on the wild side and there is no doubt, she is talented.
Illma’s original name was Ashley but there is a twist that I was not expecting – Her father was Mike Gore, an Australian property tycoon who was a bit of an Aussie Donald Trump himself. Mike Gore was known for a development known as Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast. In 1992, Gore fled to the Canada, leaving the development in receivership where it was owed $45m and he died in 1994 from a heart attack. Here is a film about him prior to all that.
So is this nude painting really about Donald Trump -What would S.F. say?
Ciao for now,
PS: Her half-brother Craig Gore has financial troubles of his own where he is now bankrupt owing $289m- see courrier-Mail.
Serves you right plebians for even thinking that your opinion counts for anything.
We at Roam very much like David Attenborough and if you are unfamiliar with who he is, here is a clip. We have enjoyed his many natural history programs over the years. Congratulations David or should I say Davy McDaveface.
He may have been speaking at the Creative Minds conference in Dublin, but Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary won’t win any creativity awards for his thoughts on what to do with cyclists.
The outspoken Irishman hit out at Dublin City Council’s plans to make the city a more appealing place for cyclists.
“That’s all we need in Dublin is more blooming bicycles,” he said, reported in the Irish Independent. “In a country where it rains about 250 days a year, the way forward for Dublin is more bicycles.
“Let’s just go back to walking altogether. Soon we’ll be living in caves designed by Dublin City Council. Traffic won’t work, there’s nowhere to park the cars and yet this is a smarter way forward.
“We should take the cyclists out and shoot them.”
He added: “I want to drive and I expect Dublin City [Council] to come up with a smarter way for me to get around Dublin and be able to park my car somewhere in the middle of Dublin without it being dug up every six weeks so we can have some other faddy non sustainable public transport solution.”
This is the same Micheal who got himself a Taxi company with one car (but never accepted any fairs for anyone other than himself) in order to use the fast lanes in Dublin. Noice !!
Micheal O’Leary is INFAMOUS. Some things attributed to him in 2009 (The Guardian):
On charging for using the toilet “All this pious stuff about … you can’t charge for entering the toilet. All right then, we’ll charge you to exit the toilets.”
On charging for using the toilet (part two) “If someone wanted to pay £5 to go to the toilet I would carry them myself. I would wipe their bums for a fiver.”
On the company that runs Stansted airport “A bunch of overcharging rapists.”
On opening up new routes “I don’t give a toss where people want to go. I’m in the business of creating a market for people to go where they have never heard of.”
On launching a Frankfurt route “Jürgen [Weber, Lufthansa chairman] says Germans don’t like low fares. How the fuck does he know? The Germans will crawl bollock-naked over broken glass to get them.”
On Ryanair’s no-refund policy “What part of no refund don’t you understand? You are not getting a refund so fuck off.”
On the recession (in Feb 2008) “We would welcome a good, deep, bloody recession in this country for 12 to 18 months … It would help see off the environmental nonsense.”
On environmentalists “We want to annoy the fuckers … The best thing we can do with environmentalists is shoot them … They are luddites marching us back to the 18th century.”
On women “If you want to stay on your knees, by all means I’d encourage you … Sorry, I’ve forgotten the question … there was a very pretty girl on her knees there in front of me.”
On himself “I don’t give a shit if nobody likes me.”
Other things he has said over the years:
“The French have never produced a great philosopher. Great wine maybe, but no great philosophers.”
“If drink sales are falling off, we get the pilots to engineer a bit of turbulence. That usually spikes sales.”
On passengers who forget to print their boarding passes: “We think they should pay €60 for being so stupid.”
“Anyone who thinks Ryanair flights are some sort of bastion of sanctity where you can contemplate your navel is wrong. We already bombard you with as many in-flight announcements and trolleys as we can. Anyone who looks like sleeping, we wake them up to sell them things.”
“Ryanair brings lots of different cultures to the beaches of Spain, Greece and Italy, where they couple and copulate in the interests of pan-European peace.”
“One thing we have looked at is maybe putting a coin slot on the toilet door, so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in the future. Pay-per-pee. If someone wanted to pay £5 to go to the toilet, I’d carry them myself. I would wipe their bums for a fiver.”
“Do we carry rich people on our flights? Yes, I flew on one this morning and I’m very rich.”
To a Ryanair employee who dared to join the Twitter Q&A: “Get back to work you slacker or you’re fired.”
Opening a press conference to announce Ryanair’s annual results: “I’m here with Howard Millar and Michael Cawley, our two deputy chief executives. But they’re presently making love in the gentleman’s toilets, such is their excitement at today’s results.”
On why his bride arrived 35 minutes late for their wedding: “She’s coming here with Aer Lingus.”
“You’re not getting a refund so fuck off. We don’t want to hear your sob stories. What part of ‘no refund’ don’t you understand?”
“Screw the travel agents. Take the fuckers out and shoot them. What have they done for passengers over the years?”
“Why are we carrying 81 million passengers if we’re this terrible? We have the lowest fares, we have brand-new aircraft, we have the most on-time flights. It sounds like kind of a fucking Mormon Moonie session but we do.”
“The most influential person in Europe in the last 20 to 30 years has been Margaret Thatcher. Without her we’d all be living in some French bloody unemployed republic.”
“We want to annoy the fuckers whenever we can. The best thing you can do with environmentalists is shoot them. These headbangers want to make air travel the preserve of the rich. They are luddites marching us back to the 18th century. If preserving the environment means stopping poor people flying so the rich can fly, then screw it.”
On the British Airways/Iberia merger: “It reminds me of two drunks leaning on each other.”
“MBA students come out with: ‘My staff is my most important asset.’ Bullshit. Staff is usually your biggest cost. We all employ some lazy bastards who needs a kick up the backside, but no one can bring themselves to admit it.”
His response to the first questioner, a woman, during a live Twitter Q&A: “Nice pic. Phwoaaarr! MOL”
“All flights are fuelled with Leprechaun wee and my bullshit!”
“If global warming meant temperatures rose by one or two degrees, France would become a desert, which would be no bad thing. The Scots would grow wine and make buffalo mozzarella.”
“I’m Europe’s most underpaid and underappreciated boss. I’m paid about 20 times more than the average Ryanair employee and I think the gap should be wider.”
On Bertie Ahern: “I’m disrespectful towards authority. I think the prime minister of Ireland is a gobshite”
“The airline industry is full of bullshitters, liars and drunks. We excel at all three in Ireland.”
“The airline business is it is mostly run by a bunch of spineless nincompoops who actually don’t want to stand up to the environmentalists and call them the lying wankers that they are.”
“People either see me as Jesus, Superman or an odious little shit. I think I’m Jesus. A prophet in his own time.
“Ryanair’s biggest achievement? Bringing low fares to Europe and still lowering ’em. Biggest failure? Hiring me.”
On a bomb scare in Scotland: “The police force were outstanding in their field. But all they did was stand in their field. They kept passengers on board while they played with a suspect package for two and three quarter hours. Extraordinary.”
“I should get the Nobel peace prize – screw Bono.”
“Nobody wants to sit beside a really fat bastard on board. We have been frankly astonished at the number of customers who not only want to tax fat people but torture them.”
“I don’t give a shit if no one likes me. I’m not a cloud bunny or an aerosexual. I don’t like aeroplanes. I never wanted to be a pilot like those other platoons of goons who populate the airline industry.”
Finally, there is this press conference where Micheal talks about doing a Transatlantic flight option. Pay attention to the features of Business Class option.
New Orleans : On April 29th a large sink hole appeared on Canal Street near a tunnel running underneath Hurrah’s Casino. For those not familiar with the place, Canal street is one of the City’s busiest streets. Not good if you ask me.
The location of the collapse was a few feet from where Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his infrastructure team had been a few hours previously. From Nola.com:
“This is nothing short of incredible,” Landrieu said. “Unfortunately, it’s not a surprise,” given the city’s creaking infrastructure and unstable soil, he said. “Still, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The cost to repair is estimated at $3 and will take 6 months.
A day before the Canal Street incident, there was there was a sink hole at Constantinople Street (Why isn’t it Istanbul street you may ask?).
To complete the Fleur de merde, on 4th of May there was a recent one at Taft Place.
However, that is not why I am posting – After all, sink holes around the US are pretty routine news unless that is it manages to envelope the Mayor and it’s infrastructure team with them – but since New Orleans is a party town, what better way to face up with the City falling apart than to have a party : “Sinkhole de Mayo” – see their facebook page. If number of accepting is correct, 1600 people will attend.
The original intent to have it near the Canal Street hole has been scotched due to safety reasons. It will be held at Woldenberg Riverfront Park, in front of the Aquarium of the Americas.
Postscript: This is not the only time that Sink Hole has been turned around to be a tourist attraction – see “The money Pit” and the National Corvette Museum.
Dahlings, it has been such a long time (2 days) since we’ve posted something concerning Australia , so let’s tell give you something to keep you going.
A Quantas flight at Melbourne airport was evacuated after a passenger noted the name of a WiFi hotspot was “Mobile Detonation device”. She naturally notified the flight crew who in turn called in airport security. From UK’s “Daily Telegraph”
Security officials checked the plane but were unable to find a threat and cleared the flight to leave.
“The pilot said a particular passenger had gone to log on and a hotspot name has come up with one which was a scare to Qantas and passengers,” a passenger told Channel Seven.
“The pilot made us aware and said they were going to take proper security precautions… After half an hour no one came forward, the Wi-Fi covered a fair distance so [it] could have been someone in the terminal.”
Qantas offered to transfer concerned passengers to alternative flights.
An estimated fifty passengers – about half of those on board – opted to take a different flight.
Not surprisingly, nobody volunteered to be behind the prank. A Quantas spokesman said ‘he believed the scare was caused by “some immature person, possibly in the terminal”’.
So let me put on my serious typing tone and remind you that “Security is not a laughing matter”. I am shocked (not really but I need to say that…) I tell you that someone always spoils it for the rest of them.
At the very least they have attempted to make it a profanity instead but there again, this is Australia and profanities are daily speech in some circles though Australians usually do come up with a different way of naming things (For example, Who else would name a horse “Bill the Bastard“?)
That being said, here are some prior submissions too give you pranksters some ideas: