I wear loose-fitting shorts whenever I fly to pull them up and expose my entire prosthesis on each side. After being scanned, I did just that. The agent hesitated, then began to pat me down. He was incredibly respectful. I asked, “This is not a criticism or complaint, just a question… if I show you my entire leg, do you still have to pat them down?”
He said, “Unfortunately, yes”.
Then I smiled and said… “Do you know why?” He laughed, but before he could get “no” out, a “supervisor” chimed in and said, “He’s supposed to take you to a private room,” to which I replied, “Nah, I’m good here.”
Wearing two masks, she got defensive, “No, that’s the right way to do it!”
I said, “Well, I’ve flown more than a million miles through a hundred airports and never been to a private room.”
Of course, she had to clap back, “Well, they’re doing it wrong.” So I asked, “Is the TSA that bad at following policy?” She was noticeably bothered and began walking away while still talking, saying, “I’m a supervisor, and he’s doing it the wrong way,” to which I responded, “The common sense way?”. The agent actually working and screening me could barely keep it together and not laugh.
This is on the heels of an agent in West Palm Beach using a hand metal detector on me a few days ago where he’d hold it to a spot on my leg, then pat it. Over and over again. Folks, these people are trained to do an activity. They have no idea why; they aren’t taught how these techniques are supposed to detect bad things, they have no understanding of the mechanism they’re using, and if you ask simple questions, they get beyond defensive.
The TSA does very little to keep you safe; as a bomb tech, I could circumvent all of their detection measures pretty easily, but what they do is keep you comfortable with a government that trains its agents to intimidate you and harass you. If you’re mad at government authoritarianism after COVID, you’re (at least) 20+ years late.
** If Africa had more mosquito nets, we could save millions of mosquitoes from dying of AIDS.
** The single most pervasive characteristic of the woke is projection.
** CDRSAL is wargaming the PRC’s invasion of sovereign Taiwan (Nationalist China)
** SECDEF Austin, who some believe to be a diversity hire despite his Army career, returned after having his part fixed at Walter Reed Army Hospital. We all breathe a collective sigh of relief and feel safe.
** LaLiv Labs discusses the behavior of iron under extreme circumstances – interesting read. “Earth’s core consists primarily of solid iron with some lighter elemental impurities, surrounded by a layer of mostly liquid iron. As the Earth cools, the core grows over time through recrystallization at the liquid-solid boundary between the outer and inner core. The process of recrystallization releases heat, which contributes to the convection currents in the outer fluid core. This convective flow of liquid iron has long been thought to power the Earth’s geodynamo — the process responsible for generating the Earth’s magnetic field.”
** Experimental results confirm that the photon’s polarization, or axis of spin, remains in superposition until observed, challenging the notion of an objective reality.
** Jules weighs in on Wednesday’s topics in Old Blighty.
Jules recommends the series Slow Horses. I’m in the middle of 3 months free on Apple TV, so I gave it a go. I’m only on S1 E1, but so far, so good.
Slough House is an administrative purgatory for MI5 service rejects who have bungled their job but have not been sacked. Those consigned there are known as “slow horses”. They are expected to endure dull, paper-pushing tasks, along with occasional mental abuse from their miserable boss, Jackson Lamb (Gary Oldham), who expects them to quit out of boredom or frustration. Life in Slough House is defined by drudgery. Yet the Slow Horses somehow get involved in investigating schemes endangering Britain.
** (h/t Claudio) The People’s Liberation Army’s Navy continued its massive construction projects in 2023, including the expansion of its naval platforms. They have a massive war fleet. Can they fight? That has yet to be tested, but why build a navy like that unless you plan to fight?
** Bribing Kari? Listen to the clip — how it’s done. Kari mentions that she doesn’t want to meet Hillary’s sanction crew or cartel-funded cowboys from south of the border.
Consolidating territorial gains in Gaza
The IDF has made minor expansions to their areas of operations in Khan Yunis, though expansion is slower than in previous weeks. Although combat operations have reduced in the north, satellite imagery confirms that the IDF remains present and active in the area.
Speculation runs that the operational tempo has slowed to ensure that the underground complexes are either degraded completely or are buried in such a way to render them ineffective and catacombs for the Philistines.
Where do you Belong? (80’s revisited)
Identify the Tank/Tank Destroyer
Identify the Aircraft
Today’s parting shot arrives over the transom from PaulM.