Sunday, August 5, 2018

August, 2018, Part 1, Political Class Insanity: A Chinese Spy In The Senate and Idiots At The TSA

It is another month which means it is again time to review the latest political class insanity from Washington and around the world. Political class insanity takes many forms including the wasting of taxpayer wealth, criminal fraud within government programs, inane and stupid political quotes and actions, the inability to create and implement effective and efficient government programs, stupid and ill performing economic policies and strategies, and other forms of insanity that continue to evolve and surprise and shock us.

Let’s get started:

1) Democrats and liberals in Washington and across the country have been vigorously pushing the concept that somehow Trump and the Russians are colluding together to rule the country and rule the world. The concepts and theories have grown to ridiculous proportions and none of them seem to have a grain of truth to them. Special prosecutor Robert Mueller has been looking for a smoking gun for well over a year, having wasted millions and millions of dollars in a fruitless search.

Which makes the following REALITY of what actually has happened to a major Democratic Senator even more ironic. According to various news sources including the San Francisco Chronicle and the left leaning Politico:
  • Apparently, California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s personal driver for about 20 years was actually a spy for the Chinese government.
  • The employee/spy was not only her personal driver but did office tasks, was a liaison to the Asian-American community, and attended Chinese government consulate events on her behalf, a reality that certainly made reporting to his handlers quite easy.
  • The FBI finally told her about the spy about five years ago, catching her totally off guard, with her reportedly being “mortified” this was happening.
  • Jeff Harp, a former FBI agent, was interviewed about the issue by a local TV station, KPIX 5: "Think about Diane Feinstein and what she had access to. One, she had access to the Chinese community here in San Francisco; great amount of political influence. Two, correct me if I’m wrong, Dianne Feinstein still has very close ties to the intelligence committees there in Washington, D.C. They also have an interest in the economy here. How to get political influence here. What’s being developed in Silicon Valley that has dual-use technology. All of that is tied to the Bay Area."
Great, Democrats worrying about and wasting time and taxpayer wealth on something Trump probably did not do and being oblivious to a real spy scandal in their own house. Pathetic. 

It also brings into question of how effective, or ineffective, the FBI was in this whole matter. It took them 20 years to figure out there was a Chinese spying working closely with a major U.S. Senator. Also pathetic.

2) We have never been big fans of the TSA. They always seem to rank up there as one of the most corrupt, inept, and expensive government agencies that we have. Their sole purpose is to protect the traveling public and the way and how they do that is often laughable and stupid.

Which is why this next discussion just adds to their insanity:
  • According to an Independent Journal Review article by Madison Summers on August 2, 2018, the TSA is considering discontinuing doing airport security screenings at some of the smaller airports across the country.
  • The logic, or illogic, is that the TSA wants to focus its security efforts only on larger airports.
  • About 150 smaller sized airports that serve planes with 60 seats or fewer would see their TSA security processes shut down.
Totally insane. Obviously, terrorists and other nut ball cases would immediately use these now unprotected airports for their terrorist and criminal activities. Glen Winn, an airline security expert with over 30 years industry experience told Fox News: “I find that unbelievable, totally beyond comprehension.”

Look, like I said above, we have never been a big fan of the competence of the TSA. But under no set of assumptions can I figure out why this is a good idea. Is the TSA that stupid to think that terrorists and criminals will ignore the opportunity to bring down smaller jets, killing dozens of Americans in the process? Are they that stupid to think that terrorists only want to bring down bigger planes? Insanity.

3) Let’s stay with the TSA to again confirm why the logic process and strategic thinking of this agency is defective in other areas of its domain, not just whether or not it should protect Americans traveling via smaller airports. Consider a recent article by Bob Barr, former Congressman and former Libertarian candidate for President:
  • The TSA maintains a list of suspicious actions that could indicate that you are a terrorist when you travel, which on the surface seems like a good thing to have.
  • But if your Adam’s apple bobs too much, if you sweat too much, if you glance out the window too much, or if you visit the bathroom more than once, you are now considered a terrorist suspect by the TSA.
  • These innocent actions are part of the TSA’s “Quiet Skies” program and the list of suspicious activities is not limited to the above examples.
  • So if you have a medical condition that causes you to sweat excessively or need to go to the bathroom more than normal, or if, heaven forbid, your Adam’s apple bobbles, the TSA is watching you. 
  • Mr. Barr provided no evidence that any of these actions are based on any science or experience or if they have captured a sweaty terrorist, probably because no evidence exists. Keep in mind that before anyone gets to an airport gate, their luggage and their carryons, their body, their personal history has been already checked for terrorism tendencies and realities. 
  • Checking bodily fluids at this point in time is likely useless and dangerous from a Fourth Amendment perspective as Mr. Barr lays out: “When passengers are “watched” surreptitiously by government agents, or by airline employees at the behest of those agents, what information is noted, in what form is it collected, where is it maintained, and for how long? Might a law-abiding, but excessively nervous passenger find himself unwittingly on a watch list; a list that becomes part of a vast database of information subject to algorithmic manipulation that might show up in the future as a flag identifying the individual as untrustworthy, or perhaps even unfit to purchase a firearm or engage in other endeavors? These are not crazy, hypothetical questions; and citizens have a right to know whether, how, why and to what extent, their movements are being surveilled and cataloged by government agents simply because they have decided to travel by air.”
So very well said. A high risk of privacy and Fourth Amendment right violations with little upside from a security perspective. Insane.

That will do it for today’s political class insanity update: a Chinese spy in the Senate and idiots at the TSA, sounds about right. More insanity to come.

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