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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hostile Forces

My day and two examples of why I'm amazed America hasn't been completely overrun by hostile forces.



"The TSA has changed airport security guidelines. Now you can have an extensive body pat-down or a naked scan. I think I speak for everybody when I say, "Hey, why can't we have both?" –David Letterman



I found myself in need of airplane travel which, as you well know, I abhor only slightly less than spending days driving to a destination. I purchased a first-class ticket which evidently allows the bearer to keep shoes, belt and pants on while going through our cracker-jack transportation security screening process (but still requires a cancer-causing bombardment of particles.)



Obviously, circumventing shoe removal remains very, very unsafe because our government would not have 90% off all travelers engage in a trivial and financially wasteful activity. Therefore, I can conclude that travelers who pay for a first-class ticket are not a shoe wearing safety threat.



How stupid do the freedom-hating evil-doers need to be to not figure out this lackadaisical approach to our security? However, there may be an even larger shortage of intellect (on someones part anyway.)


While we appear to be content to fund TSA, participate in shoe examination and risk plantar wart exposure, we refuse to put gun safety measures in place to protect schools. Anyone else see a potential risk?



Example number two involves lost passport procedure. 

"To enter Europe, you must have a valid passport with a photograph of yourself in which you look like you are being booked on charges of soliciting sheep." David Barry



My youngest misplaced her passport a year ago. Being a non-traveling parent, I ignored the misplacement until a few months ago. I reported the passport lost online (as instructed) and found the form for the non-attending-the-passport-festivities parent to sign and notarize.



I took a day off work to get errands done (including passport acquisition) and pulled the kid out of school early to make the passport office time constraint. While standing in line for the not-helpful desk and then being ignored at the not-helpful desk, we were finally informed that we needed a copy of the non-attending-the-passport-festivities parent's ID and we could have it faxed or emailed. Several calls later, a digital copy was arranged. We returned to the not-helpful desk to be told that yes we could have it emailed or faxed but not at this office.



I signed a non-attending-the-passport-festivities parent form, copied my ID, found her certified birth certificate and sent it with her the next time she went to see her dad. That taken care of, I foolishly waited for competency from our government officials.



In the mail today was a letter explaining that the kid had already been issued a passport. If we were making a request for another passport we would need to notify the passport agency that her passport had been lost or stolen.



Calling the phone number on the letter I was told that I had reached a department who did not handle loss or theft of passport but they would contact the correct agency and have a representative call. Later, the calling representative assured me that they were not the department who worked with email notification, they had no way to access email notification and no way to contact the email notification department. The best part was the mail in lost or stolen passport form cannot be completed without both parents' signatures.



So, if this non-coordinating, departmentalized exclusivity is system wide and I'm going to assume it is, nefarious use of purloined passports appears to be a relatively safe endeavor. Good news for any young, blonde female terrorists who happened to be traveling in the state of Arizona at the right time to notice and take my kid's passport. 

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