OT: TSA (again)


Spot|DSE wrote on 6/5/2006, 3:35 PM
Winrock, I have the utmost respect for you, but on this one....you are wrong, wrong, wrong.
I'll gladly compare my miles or Dhill's miles with anyone out there, pre or post 9/11. I'll also gladly compare equipment losses with anyone in our industry both pre-post 9/11.
Arrests, insurance claims, secret journalists, government stats, and just general knowledge all bear out that the TSA is a dismal failure, doesn't prevent anything, costs far more money than estimated or worth, and is a multi-billion boondoggle.
Can't buy your own plane for reasonable anymore.
BTW, even when I'm not flying for work, I'm flying for fun. I file a NOTAMS at least 3 times a week right now, and between Homeland Security and their Terrorist Support Agency, it's MUCH harder not just for me, but even for the government people. At least an hour a week to do paperwork that should be computerized and point/click.
And was nearly ready to be prior to 9/11. I would hate to own my own King Air or Caravan right now. Just the security fees alone would make you cry.
I don't know your professional background, but try doing what Derek and I do....flying lots of people, lots of gear, with accounting from pre-9/11 and post 9/11. The numbers don't add up at all.
Driving to Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, England, Sweden, Greece, Germany...All destinations in the next 4 months, not quite possible. Even were it so, still gotta deal with the morons of Helpless Security. Even Canada has become a PITA.
All that said, fly in ANY foreign country other than Nigeria and a very select few other third worlds, and you'll see how professional, intelligent people deal with it.
No way, no how can any person of informed intelligence support what is going on in airports today.
Oh yeah...forgot to mention, the government has commoditized "safety." For a fairly high fee, you can go thru level two security clearances and get the same security considerations as pre-9/11. Amazing that they can allow a third-party contractor to do security clearances on behalf of the government, and "sell" the right to avoid most of the airport lines. As said earlier, this is a page directly out of Hitler's example. Scare the @#$! out of the people, and then explain to them how "lucky" they are to have you as their "protector." HBO has a television show that parallels this activity.
It's called "The Soprano's."
risce1 wrote on 6/5/2006, 4:07 PM
DSE , flying as many miles as you do, you may want to check into buying, lor leasing a jet. you are probably aware there are programs out there where several companies contract a yearly lease and each has x amount of hours. you walk in 10 minutes before wheels up ,get on the plane and go, no one even looks twice at you. now if thats good or not i dont know, but beats the hell out of commercial. I dont claim to have any idea how to solve our air travel problems, but I dont believe everyone involved is an idiot. I'm very glad I don't travel for business anywhere near as much as i used to, or you do, so i may be not experienced enough to be a smat @## about it. Good luck on your travels and I do hope things become smoother for you , me and all.
MH_Stevens wrote on 6/5/2006, 4:56 PM
After the rash of hires to fill hoses Homeland Security posts a friend of mine was involved in a HR audit of baggage screeners at Houston International Airport and over 30% had criminal records!

The Boarder Patrol agents have become sky-marshals, the baggage handlers have become boarder patrol agents and the illegals have become baggage handlers. You see we do need illegal immigration after all.
FrigidNDEditing wrote on 6/5/2006, 5:05 PM
You see we do need illegal immigration after all.

risce1 wrote on 6/5/2006, 5:10 PM
Probably would have been wise to check the criminal records before the hiring.
My friend told me that mikey from the old life cereal commercial died wen he ate poprocks an drank a coke. and i wont mention what my buddy told me about rod stewart !! just too weird.
busterkeaton wrote on 6/5/2006, 5:40 PM
The folks planning the Iraq War, Rumsfeld, et al, wanted to experiment with a new type of waging war and invading a country with a light, light force. Rumsfeld publically said, he doubted the war would last six months. His planning for the Iraq war was that by the fall of 2003, we would have only 30,000 troops in Iraq. This is been proven to be a disastrous mistake.

It was a mistake that flew in the face of proven military expertise. There is no doubt that Saddam's army would fail in the face of the onslaught of US Forces, our complete dominance of airpower and information guarantee that. However, once you take a country, you need forces on the ground to keep control of that country. There is a formula among military planners on how many forces you need based on the size of country, its ethnic makeup, etc. That number for Iraq is 3 times the size of the biggest force we have had there. We never had enough troops there. We left giant arms and munitions dumps unguarded throughout Iraq, we allowed dozens of government buildings, power plants, etc, be looted to the bare walls. Looting is estimated to have done more damage than the intitial bombing. Billions of dollars of damage. Some estimates have it higher than the $20 billion the US committed to reconstruction. We have never controlled the borders and never controlled the entire country. It took nearly two and a half years to control the most important road in the country, from Baghdad to the airport.

Bush and Rumsfeld have been told repeatedly that we don't have enough troops to provide security and the lack of security affects every other single thing we attempt to do it Iraq. Bremer has now admitted this, the commander of the Big Red One, Gen Bastite admitted this. Bastite turned down a promotion to a three-star general and retired because he feels Rumsfeld is violating "the principles of war" that a successful Army needs to respect. Rumsfeld has this cute trick of asking a General on camera if he had enough troops. Military culture does not permit the critizing of a superior in public by an active officer. So the general says no on camera, but he just got through arguing for more troops with Rumsfeld in private, so Rumsfeld uses their code of honor against them.

The US is about to spend more time in the Iraq War than it did in WWII. We still have no idea what the result will be. That is failure. That is a mistake. Right now the country exists in a low level civil war. Shite Death Squads are common in the south. Insurgents operate openly in the north. There are towns in Anbar, where we have had to take and retake a couple of times, because we don't have the troops to keep control. Ethic cleansing is going on as we speak. Families are told to get out of a neighborhood or face death.

Wars are eventually won politically and I don't see a scenario for that happen. As long as we are there they will be shooting at us. The Iraqis can't get a government put together. The US is not willing to fight a total war with a true national effort with the billions more dollars it would cost and bringing back the draft to get the people to fight it. We are in the bad situation between choosing between the terrible choice of pulling out and the terrible choice of staying.

The biggest mistake of all was that there was no reason to go to war, Saddam was not a threat to us. 2002 is going to go down as one of the worst years in our history, because that was when we took our eye of Al Qaeda and decieved ourselves into a bad war of choice.

rextilleon wrote on 6/5/2006, 5:48 PM
Good analysis---Even if they put the boots on the ground, they still would have had to contend with the Pandora's Box that Hussein kept closed hard. Now that it is open, nation building is out of the question. They will de-evolve back into their tribal state and I don't want American servicemen in the middle of that. Anyhow, I was for the war at the get-go, but I owe those who knew a deeply felt apology. I feel particularly bad for the kids out there fighting in the middle of Dante's Inferno.
MH_Stevens wrote on 6/5/2006, 6:21 PM
Winrock: The story is that the "rush" to spend and the desperate "need" to hire was so intense that people were employed on the basis of an application form only and the checking-up came later. When this administration is gone and someone adds up the tab even the Christian bigots will know they have been screwed.

Spot: Take ye comfort for it is is not only ye that got shafted - we all did. But only 49% of us are to blame.


Coursedesign wrote on 6/5/2006, 7:46 PM
And the administration has to take responsibility for higher oil prices caused by Iraq's oil production now being half of what it was before our assault (that should not be dignified with the term "war").

And while that part of the oil price increase isn't the biggest influence, a bigger factor is the current general sense of instability in the Middle East and our loss of good relationships with South American oil producing countries.

Essentially we have lost the Middle East and we have lost the influence we had in South America.

Those are very expensive losses, coming straight out of our pockets.

The Middle East instability could have been contained much more effectively if we hadn't been so consumed by our Iraq quagmire, and the relationships with the South American oil producers could have been handled WAAAY better.
Harold Brown wrote on 6/5/2006, 8:15 PM
Hay! Everyone that has had his or her freedoms taken away. You should come live in Ohio. Evidently the Feds have have taken away your freedoms in the other 49 states but I can still do everything I did before with no exceptions. And all this time I thought Ohio sucked!
apit34356 wrote on 6/5/2006, 8:20 PM
"There is a formula among military planners on how many forces you need based on the size of country, its ethnic makeup, etc. That number for Iraq is 3 times the size of the biggest force we have had there. We never had enough troops there." What formula, what it is called? All military formulas have nick names that are used by the Pentagon and military planners. A few low level State department people and "un-name CIA sources" have stated the above claim in the press but have never actually produced this so called formula or its analyze from the military. The CIA has an analyze outlining the above, but before you jump and down, this was with over other 100+ analyzes done, ranging from Iran entering the war to Iraq using chemical weapons on it's on citizens and claiming the USA did it. This work done by mid-level analysts.

The military does not trust the "old" CIA from the 90's. Not are they overly political, but they are not every good. Do you remember Pakistan testing four nuclear weapons and CIA was clueless? After reviewing the sat feed, the CIA staff was forced to reveal they were understaffed and "no one" was actually reviewing the sat feeds but Pakistan was not viewed as being able to "make" nu's. Lets not forgot Paikstan's top nuclear guy who was helping and selling nuclear tech to any party during the 90's after the nuclear testing. The CIA let this guy travel and make no effort to slow him down.

apit34356 wrote on 6/5/2006, 8:37 PM
Coursedesign, just roll back China's oil demand 3 years and the oil market would be back to 40's . And China's demands are growing, they buying oil companies and drilling rights. They see the power oil has on the world marke and Russia is buying up most of EU suppliers; EU needs to watch this better, Japan is .

For the USA, only one county in South America has a serious impact on our prices and their leader uses the USA as "the devil", the cause of their problems.

All the refineries in LA are not in full production yet. So this a problem, but EPA additionals standards are on in place, requiring more processing for cleaner fuel.
Coursedesign wrote on 6/5/2006, 8:41 PM
Even I learned in the military (30 years ago) about the substantial forces required after a successful takeover of a country, and all the reasons why.

For Iraq, I remember General Shinseki (sp?) was quoted early on with specifics about the number of troops necessary to keep the peace.

As a reward, he was booted. "If the reality doesn't match the map, follow the map."
johnmeyer wrote on 6/5/2006, 8:57 PM
The sky is falling! All hell is breaking loose! Run and hide!

I'd have more to say, but the hot tub just got up to temperature, the beer is on ice and ...

Man, when I read all these posts, I really feel guilty for having such a good time every day. However, at my age, it takes too much work to go out of my way to make myself miserable.

However, I promise I'll work on it

Next week.
apit34356 wrote on 6/5/2006, 9:40 PM
"Even I learned in the military (30 years ago) about the substantial forces required after a successful takeover of a country, and all the reasons why." 30 years, with draft, the military was having serious personnel issues, especially the army. The military function during 50-90s were conquer, contain, or destory opposing force, not become a police force, the MP force was trained in police work, but from a mil view.
During 60s,70s a lot funded researched using computer models were being tested and studied ranging WWWIII sceneos to riots in streets of major cities because of water poisoning. But these were just models being designed and studied, far from being useable. Lot of these models were designed by grad students, phd cand.s, mitilary officers in advance education programs and few social scientists. Data sets were small and results were, at best, quess work, and don't forgot computing power available for these studies were "poor" for most of these studies. I have noticed more of these old studies being quoted or used as facts in newspapers and speeches against the current President.
Coursedesign wrote on 6/5/2006, 10:04 PM
So what can we learn from the current extensive data set?

Several years of a country being totally out of control, and de facto getting worse each month.

What's the conclusion? That Rumsfeld was right and Shinseki was wrong?


Perhaps the six Alaskan eskimos drafted to Iraq last week will save the day.
apit34356 wrote on 6/5/2006, 11:29 PM
Basic human behavior. The humor about the "drafted" Alaskan eskimos is right up there 10-sec sound bite it was designed for. There is no "draft", but it rings of 60s and 70s soundbites used then.

Just about everyone doesn't trust their car\truck service dealer and car salespersonnel rate between rootcanals and living with the in-laws. But most people like/love their car\truck. Must have that car! Everyone wants quick solutions today, no sweat, no real work, just instant results, hey if it can be fixed by the second TV season, its history...well.. cancelled. Super fast weight lose, where's the Dr. Why should someone planned out a shoot, the camera should know what to do or the post editor will fix it. wait a minute.... shooting a film is done in 90 to 120 days, post work from 3months to 16 months, then mass promotion and lease, costing 100s 0f millions before results of the viewing public is known. What does it take change warring groups? Must be done by second season.

Coursedesign, are you saying that knew who Shinseki was before 9/11 or spoke out against Bush? And what great military operations did he command in real war conditions, as top dog. Miltilary, unfortunely, has an excessive amount of one and two stars generals that have their career at its end due to too many generals and not enought 3star openings. This has been a problem since the 70s in command. Too many officers and not enought promotion slots. Alot of grand titles were created for the promoted officers were there was no real function. Overtime, like any government department, its grows.
apit34356 wrote on 6/5/2006, 11:57 PM
I think john Meyers ideal requires further followup. Hot tub temp just about right....
dhill wrote on 6/6/2006, 3:27 AM
Ok it's settled...I'll send the Hell’s Angels to John Meyers house to crash his solo hot tub party. :o)

First of all, I never want to be scolded by any of you for venturing off topic ever again! haha

I believe this is about Spot's post on losing gear to thieves. Ones that we pay to steal from us. I used to think, hmmm we (the group I travel with) spend 100's of thousands of $'s a year on airline tickets for the privilege of letting them smash or now steal our stuff. Oh I forgot lose. They're quite good at that too. I re-read Spot's posts on this thread and I can't tell you how incredibly right on he is about everything. I basically feel like a prisoner in jail when I travel (minus the fear of being killed or raped by a large inmate) being that I am constantly field stripped while standing at a distance watching some stranger rummage through my bags in front of ten's of other strangers. I could go on and on for pages about all of this, but I'll spare you that.

The bottom line for me is how the current state of traveling has affected me:

I bought the A1U instead of the Z1 'cause I didn't want to check it since I know what would happen to it and the Z1 wouldn't leave me much room for those things called clothes, etc.

We bought a different keyboard for me to use on stage because of TSA and handlers. I chose the one that is easiest to find when we needed to rent one after mine would be (not maybe) would be damaged due to the inconsiderate airline workers. It takes a lot to break an instrument in a hard case with 2-3 inches of foam all around it, but they manage to do so regularly.

We changed our way of doing business, as I mentioned previously, where our musical gear is supplied by a company for each concert so that we do not have to live in fear every time we step off a plane.

And last but not least, I have seriously put thought into what else I can do for a living 'cause I hate traveling so much in this day in age.

So, there ya go. That's how the airlines have affected one man. I wonder how many others out there are feeling the same way.

So, Spot, if you haven't already tried it, have someone well spoken call for your company and try what I mentioned previously about saying it's a shame we have to take our business elsewhere since you can't provide us with the service we need. If you have you travel history some what well documented so you can fax it or email it if need be. This should work given the dollar amount loss we're talking about here. For those of you who don't know, they do not need to reimburse you for any damage they do to musical or camera equipment. It's written in pretty plain English from what I understand. We fortunately have high up contacts for most airlines that we can call when a situation like this occurs. Good luck to you and also in finding some sort of happy medium serenity wise in your travels. On a lighter note, I'm a little embarrassed to say that about a year ago our foh engineer called our tour manager after we had all boarded the plane and said "Help! Derek is beating up the plane!" We laugh about it now. I seem to remember in a fit of rage screaming if your gonna break my %$##@ I'm gonna break yours! Ripping and pounding anything within my reach and screaming words I really wished I hadn't being that I'm sure there were sweet families around me. Mind you, anyone who has worked with me on tour in the last 20 years would make comments like "he's the nicest guy" "I never heard a whisper (complaint) out of him" he likes everyone and is liked by all." These are things people have said about me, so, for me to go postal means things are getting pretty bad. I just feel so violated. I mean I worked my entire life to get where I am today where I can afford to buy whatever musical gear I want. I used to live at the Morrison Hotel on Hope St. and Pico in downtown LA for 10 bucks a day in my starving musician days. I paid my dues and now have a nice house/life, so, when theft or deliberate vandalism is performed to my stuff right before my eyes, I see someone taking all I've worked for and smashing it in my face...feeling extremely violated mentally and physically. It cuts me to the core you might say.

What does this have to do with VV 6.0D? Well, not all of us work out of our home or pro studios. Many of us travel to acquire our footage and do a bit of laptop editing. A bit off topic yes, but not all posts need to be about what max vbr do you find works best as far as player compatibility is concerned? :o) I rarely post here. I like to read from those who know more than I so that I may learn...listen rather than speak. But this is a subject I am incredibly well versed on.

Oh, winrock, we looked into leasing/buying aircrafts. We have a 7 figure annual gross. If we had another "0" added on to that, it would be a viable option. Don't forget about fuel cost, maintenance, pilots, hanger storage, etc. It isn’t cheap if you have a some what large crew and gobs of cases. I love tour buses/semi trucks, but my boss hates them so....

Oh yeah...Harold Brown, I was in Cleveland about a week ago. I made it through without anyone yelling "male assist" meaning field stripping frisking time, but a couple of others were not so lucky. So, even the lovely, peaceful (other than Youngstown) state of Ohio is nearly up there with the big boys TSA wise.

This will be my last post in this thread...everyone cheer now. I do love this forum. It has enabled me to finish all of my DVD’s over the years be they ever so humble. Derek
dornier wrote on 6/6/2006, 9:06 AM
I saw someone mention "driving or flying" their own vehicle.

Just taking a survey, but how many of you would pay for private air taxi service?

Frequency and distance would matter, but myself and a few other professional pilots have been looking for a niche market like that. Those of you with serious equipment--I feel your pain with TSA.

1. how often do you travel for work?
2. how far?
3. how much gear do you bring?
3. how many of you go?

Spot|DSE wrote on 6/6/2006, 9:20 AM
1. how often do you travel for work?
At least once a week, often more.

2. how far?
If it's more than a 4-5 hour drive, I fly. Las Vegas is a drive, LA is a flight.

3. how much gear do you bring??
4 Pelican 1620's, 2 Pelican 1624's, a suitcase, and sometimes my jump rig.
4. how many of you go??
Usually two or three of us.
Renting/leasing/chartering is rarely an option. It's significantly less costly to fly commercial, assuming nothing will be stolen or damaged. We can barely fit our gear into a King Air or Caravan, a Navaho holds it all. Cost per person works out to be around 1000.00 per person, plus some extras.
The hell of it is, we shouldn't *have* to think or worry about this. Sorta like saying...I'm afraid of my security guards in my business, so I need to hire security guards to watch the security guards.
I'm amazed at how many folks think it's cheap to fly your own plane or lease/rent one.
Buy a Navaho? half a mil for a decent one, insurance per year is half again that much. Pilot? Multi-engine guys aren't cheap nor easy to find. Couple that with other difficulties surrounding the departure/arrivals...t'ain't as easy as many folks think it is. I spend roughly 2 hours a day in a King Air...just that alone is expensive as hell, and it's a stripped plane.
riredale wrote on 6/6/2006, 9:43 AM
Spot, you oughta learn to fly--you might just love it as a sport.

I got my VFR license way back in '79, flying itty-bitty Cessna 150's out of Santa Monica, California. A couple of years later I got my Instrument Rating. I had a very fast Mooney M20J from '82 until the late '90s, flew everywhere in the USA and sometimes into Canada. Had a blast, though it wasn't cheap.

If you're the kind of person who thrives on mechanical complexity and has a logical thought process, maybe flying's for you.

Biggest thrill for me was shooting an approach into LAX on a foggy night, breaking out right at minimums (200 feet above the ground), being advised upon touching down to make my turnoff at the first available taxiway "due to traffic on short final", and after doing so hearing the "whoosh" of a 767 streak by behind us on his landing roll. Great stuff. All done by the book and perfectly legal and safe, but thrilling nonetheless. And no TSA screeners.
Coursedesign wrote on 6/6/2006, 10:28 AM
A quarter of a million for insurance on a Piper Navajo seems very high.

I haven't followed rates recently, but even for very high limits that seems hefty for a plane presumably flown only by high-hours commercial pilots.

The [tax-deductible] depreciation (which is a major factor in business profitability) probably isn't bad at all, especially on a plane that's bought used in good condition.

Maintenance isn't that bad either, but of course you have to set aside money for engine overhauls every 2,000 hours (depending on the engines), or hot section overhauls on turbines.

It's important to figure travel time into the calculations too.

Some people can fly practically out of their backyard, from a nearby small field with a runway that is perhaps less than one mile long, so airliners can't take off from it (they can only land, and this has happened at times, for example one airliner on approach to LAX "saw the runway" and landed at Hawthorne, a tiny airport near LAX. They had to bus the passengers and remove all the seats to make it possible for the airplane to take off).

This might save a long car drive to "the big airport" and save the standing in line forever for the TSA, long checkin lines with baggage, etc., and the reverse at the other end.

Instead of flying from airliner hub to airliner hub, you can fly more "door-to-door" and for some that will mean that a 6-hour trip each way becomes a 3-hour trip each way which has value too. Might even save a hotel night.

And with airtaxi there is no worry about depreciation and hiring pilots, etc.
They can go to also the additional ~12,000 U.S. airports the airliners can't fly into.

Now for international flights, forget it. That could be about $70,000-$80,000 per trip for a chartered smaller jet.
General Shinseki?

No, I never heard of him before he spoke in his professional, military, non-political capacity. From what I heard, he was very highly respected for his military strategies.

The facts of today clearly bear out that he was right, and Rumsfeld was arrogant to think that he could achieve what nobody before him had been able to achieve.

Perhaps he was thinking that the British once ruled a vast population in India with only 100,000 troops.

Unfortunately this ended with a loss because 100,000 troops was no match when the population became determined.

This particular discussion has little to do with Bush, who I think was just going along with what he was told to do by Rummy and the boys, very convincingly no doubt, and egged on by W's dad who was pissed off over how Saddam was able to route him on the troops' final march on Baghdad in 1991 ("if your boys come any closer, we'll return the chemical weapons materials the U.S. gave us...")..
Spot|DSE wrote on 6/6/2006, 11:55 AM
Riredale, I already fly, but under nylon...not aluminum.;-)
Course, insurance on multi-engines is almost half the value of the plane per year, if you don't count in specific riders, it's slightly over a third of the value. You're essentially buying the plane every other year, or every 3 years. Wasn't that bad til after 9/11, but everything changed, or so I keep hearing.
Matthew Roddy might have some input, I can't remember if he owns his plane or leases it.
I could fly out of my backyard, a guy about 2 miles down the road does just that. And he constantly is being harassed to the point that he rarely ties down at home any more, mostly ties at the local small airport.