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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 10, 2005 / 1 Iyar, 5765

Unsafe after all

By Cal Thomas


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So far $4.5 billion has been spent on homeland (in)security. The author knows first-hand



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Three years and eight months after the terrorist attacks that changed our lives and after spending $4.5 billion on screening devices to monitor airports, seaports, mail and the air we breathe, the Department of Homeland Security has acknowledged what many of us frequent fliers already suspected. The money was misspent on equipment that has failed to do the job.

As with most things governmental, failure does not mean having to try something else. It means spending more money on even more expensive equipment.

Among the problems associated with the current equipment, as detailed in last Sunday's New York Times, are devices used to screen airline passengers and their carry-on bags. Auditors have determined the likelihood of detecting a passenger trying to carry a gun or bomb on board is no greater now than before federal screeners replaced private screening companies. For this we are charged a tax on every airline ticket and forced to endure inconveniences in the name of "safety."

I knew the system wasn't going to find real terrorists when I suddenly showed up on a "no fly" list last year. I had to copy my passport and driver's license and submit other notarized documents to prove I am not the Thomas they are looking for. It wasn't until I wrote about it that my name was removed from the list.

My name is now back on the list, but on just three airlines. If I were a terrorist, wouldn't I try to smuggle a weapon aboard an airline that doesn't have me on their "no fly" list?

Here's the way it works in this dysfunctional "security" system. Last weekend, I flew on one of the three airlines. The agent took my driver's license into the back and returned 15 minutes later, while other passengers sized me up to see if they dared travel with such a "suspect." When the agent returned, she brought with her a supervisor I had requested to see.

The supervisor explained he had to check with the airline's security office, using my birth date to confirm I am not the Thomas they are looking for. I asked, "Now that you know me, why can't you enter this information in your computer so the next time I fly your airline I am not inconvenienced by having to repeat this ridiculous procedure?"

That makes too much sense. That can't be done. The agent smiled pleasantly, rejected my logical suggestion and appealed to his airline's "rules."

The Transportation Security Administration has announced a new program, "Secure Flight," that requests birth dates from passengers. They claim this will speed passengers like me through the screening process. We'll see.

At Newark Airport last week, I spoke to a TSA supervisor about my "mark of Cain." He gave me a "special" TSA number to call to register my complaint. I am wise to this tactic, having tried the number before, so I asked him to make the call. As he dialed, I said he could expect a recording to tell him to "press one for English" and then to leave a message. He would be promised a "prompt" reply, which he would not get.

He stayed on long enough to hear the "press one for English" and hung up. He suggested I might try e-mailing TSA headquarters. I said I had and I received an automated response also promising a "prompt reply." I received no reply at all.

Airline agents blame TSA for this mess, and TSA agents blame the airlines. After listening to the blame game recently at Washington's Reagan National Airport, I took a TSA supervisor to the third airline that has me on its "no fly" list. When she saw the TSA agent approach, the airline agent, who initially had blamed TSA, took me off the list and removed the "S" from the ticket that requires a full body and luggage search. This proves to me that TSA is the final authority.

Last month I saw Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff at a social function. I decided to go to the top and explain my problem, which other frequent travelers also experience. He took my card and promised to "take care of it." He hasn't.

It isn't just me. A neighbor tells me she is frequently stopped for special screening because her last name is the same as a European city that was attacked by terrorists.

But don't worry. The government is going to spend billions more on new equipment, while continuing its harassment of the innocent. Don't you feel safer?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is the author of, among others, The Wit and Wisdom of Cal Thomas Comment by clicking here.

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