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TSA = Stranger Danger

Can’t help but continue to cogitate on this TSA screening nightmare (see my previous post).The outrage, tales of indecencies committed, frustrations and absurdities continue to be recounted in lurid and nauseating detail.

The TSA website laughably defends their recently implemented “security” measures, claiming:  “A primary goal of TSA is to treat all passengers with courtesy, dignity, and respect during the security screening processes.” (Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?)

Yes, I can imagine serious-faced, properly licensed and qualified authorities serving up identical reassurances as multitudes of Jews and other undesirables were ushered onto cattle cars headed for their final destination (i.e. death camps).

I would argue the TSA screening practices have little to do with courtesy, dignity or respect. Rather, their intent seems to be to discourage airline travel. (I mean, it’s already worked in my case!) Continue Reading →

Interesting Times

Nobody seems to know for certain where the phrase “may you live in interesting times” originated. No matter. During more than a month of absence from posting here, I have come to understand those six words are as much curse as blessing.

A pre-election day trip to Philadelphia reminded me of the vast differences between Benjamin Franklin’s time and ours, but the trip also reinforced a nagging sense that Tyranny remains the same in every age.

Consider the current flap (links here, here, here) over full-body scanners (FBS) newly installed in airports. Maybe the picture to the left offers a clue about what comes next?

On Thursday evening (10/14), my mother and I arrived at STL.  We entered the Southwest terminal with plenty of time to spare (or so we thought). Neither of us knew much about FBSs … much less that they were in place. No more than a handful of the multitude in line with us knew either!

People in front, behind and to either side in the zig-zag security line expected, like my mom and me, to board flights set for departures around 7 p.m.. Long story short, most were still standing in line past the appointed hour of departure! (Remind me, please:  what’s the point of an “A” boarding pass??!) The culprit:  a so-called “rapid scan” FBS. Continue Reading →

Battle of the Bulges

A couple weeks back, my Beloved and I were emptying some items from the back of my car. I was in front of him, and he remarked offhandedly:  “You should probably invest in a bra that fits.” I was too busy with other things to waste time being upset by his observation, but in the ensuing days, the remark has resurfaced in my memory.

On reflection, my response might have been something like:  “Aren’t you glad you don’t have to wear a harness every day of your life?” Or, “It’s supposed to be tight enough to do the job.”

Truth be told, once I looked in the mirror (from the possible angle he would have had), I had to cede his point. My Victoria’s Secret undergarment covered (and supported) the requisite areas, but there was no denying the unattractive bulges. (How would I know? When do I look at myself from the back side?)

The words “disgusting tub of lard (DTOL)” are hardly complimentary for anyone, least of all when one thinks of one’s self. While I don’t fill my chair like the cartoon woman above, my bra is (admittedly) almost as poorly fitted. Further, I acknowledge my problem isn’t just the result of a poorly fitting undergarment. Some aggressive personal action is in order:  regular exercise, better eating habits, etc. (No, I’m not considering liposuction or a backlift … never heard of that before, but apparently it’s a popular option.) Continue Reading →

Who Are the Real Experts?

File this in the Are You Kidding Me? or the No Wonder the World is in Such a Mess! folder. Your choice. April 30, 2010 was SpankOut Day USA … and I missed it!

Clearing off my desk this week, I ran across a pamphlet from the National Child Protection Training Center (NCPTC). Headquartered at Winona State University in Minnesota, they also have a regional center partnership with the Northwest Arkansas Community College (near my corner of the world).

The pamphlet’s description of SpankOut Day USA informs the reader this day was established “… in 1998 to give widespread attention to the need to end corporal punishment of children and to promote non-violent ways of teaching children appropriate behavior.” Who knew? I still had children living at home in 1998.

Certainly, child abuse is a despicable thing. (Is there anyone in the civilized world suggesting child abuse is okay?!!!)

But I think it’s fair to ask:  when did we establish a consensus spanking equals violence? Let’s go back to the word’s origin. In the 13th century violence was defined as:  “physical force used to inflict injury or damage.” I’ll say it emphatically — a loving parent who employs spanking exercises measured physical force, and never to the extent nor for the purpose of inflicting injury or damage! Continue Reading →

TCO: Stepping Into a New World

My eldest grandson went to college today. He drove himself to the campus (about 30 miles away) but, uncertain the school would permit him to stay, he left all his belongings here at our home where he’s lived this past year.

A recent Eagle Scout, he earned two academic scholarships and will assume a student loan, but those won’t be enough to cover his expenses. The financial aid people suggested his parents could obtain an additional loan (to cover the difference), but because he’s “on his own” that loan is impossible. This boy, transitioning to manhood, is learning one of the hard lessons of adulthood:  finances can be a tricky thing.

He told us he believes God wants him at this university and he’s stepping forward in faith God will provide the funds. He’s animated, excited and energized, eager for the new challenges he sees before him.

He’s also subdued (scared, in fact) by the prospect it could all be yanked out of his grasp if the finances aren’t forthcoming and the school decides not to work with him on it. (He’s already committed to working 30 hours a week while he’s attending school, plus they’ve signed him up for a school work/study program.) Continue Reading →

Conversational Apartheid

Whenever I told my Mama so-and-so had permission to go/do/wear something, Mama’s response usually started with something like:  “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?” She had no appreciation for polls, and for the most part, I’ve inherited that trait.

Nevertheless, the following poll caught my attention. Is swearing ever appropriate? Coming from the Christian publication, Christianity Today, I’ll accept CT posed their “provocative” question to drive traffic and discussion. Since only 164 votes were cast, though, I wonder how much discussion actually resulted. Continue Reading →

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