Saturday Open Thread

Fliers can expect tightened security measures in the aftermath of yesterday's foiled terror attempt. Yesterday I saw the new George Clooney film, Up in the Air, and the first scene of him going through security reminded me of how much time and energy is wasted flying anywhere. (The film was okay, not great, and if you haven't seen it, beware of a review at Daily Beast that tells the surprise ending without so much as a spoiler alert. Shame on them and don't they have editors?)

As a follow-up to my lengthy post on Charlie Sheen's Aspen arrest yesterday, Sheen's wife is no longer speaking to the cops and the DA says he won't decide whether he'll follow through with charges against Sheen until his next court appearance in February. He told TMZ he does file charges for false reporting.

We have another day of snow here. What's going on in your neck of the woods, and how are you spending the weekend?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    I'm flying tomorrow (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:33:54 PM EST
    Sounds like it ought to be lots of fun. . .

    Good luck (none / 0) (#2)
    by Steve M on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:38:28 PM EST
    hopefully reverse profiling works in your favor.

    That's my usual experience (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:19:44 PM EST
    I'm just tired of having to essentially redress after the security checkpoint. It seems like they've designed it for people traveling in sweatpants and fuzzy slippers.

    HAH! (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by otherlisa on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:51:07 PM EST
    I wish. I'd tell you all what happened to me at SFO on Sunday night but it would take too long. And I was wearing sweats and Ugg boots.

    Now there's an idea ... <n/t> (none / 0) (#26)
    by FreakyBeaky on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:51:21 PM EST
    Don't leave your seat (none / 0) (#4)
    by nycstray on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:56:42 PM EST
    and keep your hands where everyone can see them  ;)

    Long or short flight? It's really going to suck on long flights if they aren't going to let folks freshen up during the last hour . . .


    I would bet that liquids (none / 0) (#8)
    by Cream City on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:14:41 PM EST
    will be especially suspect and searched, so make sure that you have nothing more than three ounces of anything.  Or just buy what you need when you get to your destination, as I tend to do now rather than try to drip, drip, drip stuff into teeny bottles or put them into checked baggage for them to drip, drip, drip out again. . . .

    I was looking into cheap flights yesterday for a quick getaway to a beach, as the gray days get to me here.  Now I'm glad to stay put, as air travel becomes even more awful.  


    It's a trip too short to check (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:39:24 PM EST
    For me, the biggest inconvenience is that I can no longer carry a can of shaving cream aboard.

    I'd also bet the "no fly list" expands. (none / 0) (#31)
    by RonK Seattle on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:05:42 PM EST
    The suspect was on the "watch list" but hadn't made the "no fly list".

    Excuse me for pointing out the obvious (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by shoephone on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:28:43 PM EST
    But mothers traveling with babies won't be allowed to bring both their purses AND a bag for diapers and bottles on the plane with them?

    Good luck with that one.

    Oh, and I can't wait for the aisles to become  sewers, what with all the "accidents" sure to follow when we're not allowed to use the bathroom in the last hour of flight.

    Good old Homeland Security. Atta boy, TSA.

    And if they can't "access" bottles (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Cream City on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:31:53 PM EST
    or pacifiers in the last hour of the flight, be ready for even more screaming babies as the cabin pressure changes.  Oh, and that tends to make them, um, fill their diapers, too.

    Voice of long experience here with short-fused airplane staffers who don't understand babies.  Or mothers. :-)


    Here's a puzzle for ya (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:14:34 PM EST
    If air travel is really so unsafe and risky, why would mothers bring their babies anyway? Paradoxically, if it is safe enough that mothers bring their babies, why can't they have their bottles?

    Personally, I think child-free flights are long overdue, but I won't make many friends in Orlando with that attitude.


    And I wonder when the brainiacs (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Anne on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:41:45 PM EST
    at TSA/Homeland Security will realize that restricting movement to just the last hour is meaningless - if something is going to be attempted, it will just come when movement in the cabin is allowed.  Duh.

    How long will it take for there to be a "Depends" kiosk at the airport?


    I have a lot of sympathy for the airlines (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by otherlisa on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:53:06 PM EST
    and very little for the TSA. I fly a fair amount, especially this last year. The TSA seems just short of useless. Mall Cops with Attitudes.

    This is what I can't figure out (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by nycstray on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:02:14 PM EST
    the regulations are in place over the US, but it seems kinda dumb to say the last hour of the flight needs to be restricted. 9/11 happened at the beginning of the flights . . . maybe they should just have us in straight jackets for the duration . . .

    Oh well, at least the passenger bill of rights is in effect now and they can only hold us on the runway for 3hrs before take off :P


    Here's what I don't get (none / 0) (#37)
    by otherlisa on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:00:34 PM EST
    Rather than the TSA's next to useless secondary screening shoe removal circus, why in the world don't we have more explosives detectors in airports? You know, just build the freakin' things if we are serious and have everyone walk through them? And was it on this website that someone suggested expanding the use of dogs who are trained to sniff out explosives? Whoever/wherever that was acknowledged that yes, we are short of dogs but why in the world hasn't there been more emphasis on training them since 9/11?

    And does anyone understand why this guy was on a terror list and yet not targeted for additional screening, at the very least?

    I know there is no such thing as perfect security but surely we can do better and with less overall inconvenience for passengers.


    I don't think we can, actually (none / 0) (#38)
    by andgarden on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:03:00 PM EST
    I think we are approaching the end of the bell curve of administrable security measures.

    That was me with the dogs (none / 0) (#41)
    by nycstray on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:20:35 PM EST
    We must give the TSA credit though. Since it seems possible this guy smuggled it on in his pants, they didn't suggest pant removal along with the shoes {grin}

    Oh, give them time N/T (none / 0) (#84)
    by otherlisa on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 08:01:24 PM EST
    What about the prospective increase (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:33:27 PM EST
    in life-threatening blood clots caused by these new restrictions on movement during the last hour of flight? I wonder who would be liable in such an event.

    Exactly . Duh. (none / 0) (#50)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:17:13 PM EST
    Just because this guy waited until on approach? Please.

    Next it will be an hour after take-off and an hour before landing. So no movement at all on any flights 2 hours or less.


    There is a really funny David Sedaris (none / 0) (#53)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:25:24 PM EST
    piece about an experiment he did trying out a personal bladder system, that basically consisted of  a funnel of some type around his privates, with a tube leading to a bladder taped to his leg, and basically let him pee-on-demand.  I think he actually did wear it on a plane. all in all, it was not as good idea as he thought it would be..

    Have you heard David Sedaris sing (none / 0) (#67)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:23:06 PM EST
    the Oscar Meyer bologna jingle "in the style of Billie Holliday" - like he says he regularly did when he was a kid? I heard him do it in an amazing reading on NPR.

    BTW, Mike Gravel said that he wore a funnel/tube/urine bag device in order to read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record - without taking a bathroom break. Gotta love him for that.


    Yes, that cracks me up too (none / 0) (#71)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:42:09 PM EST
    I usually get his books on audibile.com rather than read them myself. His stories about his family especially kill me.

    One carry on bag? (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:05:59 PM EST
    The airlines that charge for checked bags will make a fortune:  AP

    But just think how quick it will be to get on and off the plane!!!

    Looks to be just for international flights (none / 0) (#40)
    by andgarden on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:14:00 PM EST
    Why are the same blogger people (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:48:12 PM EST
    claiming that it is questionable or even insane to think that America has a corportism problem out to rob from the people the exact same blogger people who wrote long drawn out essays on how Barack Obama wasn't going to escalate?  I kept reading them.  And they were really very sweet and all, and I think there was good photos of him too in a couple.  But all I saw was 1000's of soldiers and contractors being rushed through train ups, physically thrown onto plains with no TSA needed cuz they are the terrorist slayas, and jetted to Afghanistan as quickly as Pope AFB could get them the hell out of Dodge?  It is a righteous pack of geniuses that the left blogosphere is abuntantly blessed with.

    Wow, I've had no sleep for the past 24 (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 08:28:34 PM EST
    hours between Christmas, babies, and driving.  I succombed to babies.  Zoey cried when I tried to leave.  She just missed me.  My heart was tapped lightly against the rim of the bowl and broken open.  Who needs sleep? I just read what I typed though.....whew  thrown onto plains?  I'll have to take a senseless survey at sometime I suppose....would you guys and girls rather have been thrown onto planes (like you were) or thrown onto plains.  If you think that getting thrown onto plains is a better option I have to warn you, there isn't any cover so you have to zigzag like a mofo.

    An oldie but a goodie came on (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 08:04:10 PM EST
    during the drive home tonight.  If you thought Obama wasn't going to escalate and wrote long essays about all the evidence that was out there that he wasn't going to do so as he was doing it through the initial backdoor before he frontdoored you, if you think that Obama did not campaign on the public option and you can tell me the ways,  if you think that it is safe and a good idea to allow the people who brought us the economic crash every available opportunity or slush fund with no oversight to hide the dead bodies and that it's okay and good for the economy and your grandchildren, if you think that Rahm thinks about you when he wanks, if you think that an utter lack of meaningful regulation is due to innocent forgetfulness or a symptom of an already well planned since January robust agenda of protecting you in other better ways, if you think that Obama doesn't know what the Hamilton Project is or believe that to the very core of his being that it beats FDR solutions all to hell, if you think that Obama has just recently moved center right after the election so that he can get meaningful things accomplished, someone wrote a song about you.

    Among the new rules (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:52:41 PM EST
    The AP reports:

    The airline said that during the final hour of flight passengers must remain seated. They won't be allowed access to carry-on baggage or to have any items on their laps.

    Instead of effective (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:46:30 PM EST
    & rational screening, with equipment that works properly & is properly recalibrated at regular intervals, we get all this knee-jerk, nonsense that is supposed to pass as security.  

    Apparently, the Nigerian guy (none / 0) (#30)
    by KeysDan on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:04:15 PM EST
    was screened at Lagos, and not after.   Hope Nigeria picks up on our latest "don't get out of the seat" rule, so that we can all feel safer.   Guess it is wise to know where your plane originates and the security procedures at that airport.

    This guy was being (none / 0) (#96)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:16:27 AM EST
    watched, but not on the do not fly list or another list that should have given authorities pause.

    While our current Admin is focusing on Afghanistan, Al Queda is actually training in Africa.  Way to keep our eyes on the ball.


    Yes, they watched him buy (none / 0) (#104)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 10:09:08 AM EST
    a one-way ticket, pay with cash, and check no luggage.  Oh well, ever since the shoe bomber, we have had to take off our shoes; now, with the underwear bomber, it should be quite a scene at the airports.

    So on short flights . . . (none / 0) (#5)
    by nycstray on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:57:53 PM EST
    sit down and don't move?

    Air travel becomes even worse (none / 0) (#9)
    by Cream City on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:18:02 PM EST
    as then add to that the half-hour or hour or more while the airline finds a gate, finds staff for it, finds a rolling stair or tunnel, gets it to the gate, etc., all while passengers must sit in their seats and not do a thing but stare out the windows for a sign of life on the tarmac.

    A train to California (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by nycstray on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:32:20 PM EST
    is starting to look real good about now.

    Take the train (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by caseyOR on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:38:18 PM EST
    When my mother comes to visit from the midwest she takes the train. She used to fly, but she hates going though all the hassle at the airport. So, she books a sleeper and rides the rails.

    If you have a sleeper your meals are included. And the attendant will bring those meals to your car if you don't feel like walking to the dining car, which works great for my mom as she is not as steady on her feet as she once was. Also, coffee made and served each day in your car.

    Let's start adequately funding Amtrak and build some high-speed trains.


    Pets are no longer allowed!! (none / 0) (#44)
    by nycstray on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:50:07 PM EST
    {head desk} this is new since the last time I checked (a few months ago). ARRRRGH! and I could have gotten a rail pass for $389 and been able to stop daily. It would have worked perfect with balancing the longer stops for the Dot. {sigh} I'm going to have to call them and see what's up.

    Amtrak (none / 0) (#49)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:14:51 PM EST
    hasn't taken pets since the 70's.  Which train were you talking about?

    They used to take them as cargo/baggage (none / 0) (#52)
    by nycstray on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:22:24 PM EST
    I was just checking late summer. They couldn't weigh more than 50 in the carrier though, which would have been fine with Dot.

    I remember a train trip west (none / 0) (#12)
    by Cream City on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:38:38 PM EST
    because my mother hated to fly, so she took us -- six kids! -- on the train to her home state in the west.  She timed it so that we had daylight for some of the most beautiful areas in this country.

    And we could get up, get around, etc., and now that I'm a couple of feet taller than I was then -- now above average height -- and with a bad back, the idea of leg room when seated and room to move around when not?  It sounds great.  But how do I get overseas?


    Via cruise ship? (none / 0) (#17)
    by nycstray on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:52:59 PM EST
    I'll be traveling with at least the dog, so I may rethink how I get west. Cats can go via pet transport and stay with my parents while I get the Dot and myself out there. I'm just not comfortable with all the airport hassles these days and having a dog with me . . . . A train with a few overnight stops would have me arriving at about the same time as my stuff . . .  hmmm . . .  time to chill also :)

    Pet AIrways. (none / 0) (#42)
    by mollypitcher on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:36:17 PM EST
    "They are also not all that much more expensive than the cargo places and the animals get to ride inside in crates with a flight attendant."

    I have marked this company for 'just in case.' The person who reported the above flew 2-month-old pups to their new homes.  Headquarters may be in Chicago.  There are other options also for transporting dogs by plane.


    I need to see if they've expanded their service (none / 0) (#45)
    by nycstray on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:54:39 PM EST
    when they first started they only went to SoCal and I need my pets to land in NoCal. The dog will have to travel with me. I don't think my parents could handle her without me :P  Bad enough I'll be sending 5 cats their way for a few days, lol!~

    Anyone feel like driving a mobile home cross country?!


    Maybe (none / 0) (#47)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:12:13 PM EST
    rent a car?  There are car rentals that take pets and many, many motels are starting to take pets.  We travel with the dogs all the time.

    Travelling with Dogs (none / 0) (#54)
    by christinep on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:26:12 PM EST
    We travel with our dog companion by car. She loves it--like a kid looking out the window. Yes, it is easy now to find a hotel/motel that takes dogs (usually a small fee.) You can almost always count on a Holiday when travelling cross-country. And, there are a number of local publications about which lodgings take dogs.  In fact, there are several places in Colorado that put out the "red carpet"...for the four-legged travellers.

    Luckily, Dot travels well (none / 0) (#60)
    by nycstray on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:35:24 PM EST
    don't know where she got such good car manners, but the few times she's ridden, she's been real easy. We actually used her for a news piece about hotels in NYC that cater to pets. She even got to ride in a pet taxi service for that one.

    No drivers license yet :( (none / 0) (#56)
    by nycstray on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:29:31 PM EST
    I'll have to see if any of my friends are up for a road trip {grin}

    I'll need to check with airlines and see how long I can keep her with me at the airport. Last time I flew with pets, it was sheer H*ll (when I moved out here). If it was a shorter flight I wouldn't be as worried, but along with security BS, there will prob be weather issues . . .


    That's righ (none / 0) (#63)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:57:37 PM EST
    *NYC*  Too bad.

    Perhaps you haven't heard (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 08:33:48 PM EST
    or you may already know this because you seem like you are very good with your doggies.  In case you did not though, if your dog has a therapy cert it gets to fly with you next to you on the floor or in your lap in the main body of the plane.  Don't know about other travel. I wonder if we can get free flights if they get a bomb sniffing cert?

    Bizarre (none / 0) (#13)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:39:06 PM EST
    If this guy was a doofus Richard Reid type, as it seems like he was, trying to set this thing off just before landing was either pure incompetence or a failure of nerve to do it earlier.  What serious terrorist trying to blow up a plane does it just before landing?

    IOW, it's not a considered terrorist tactic that needs to be countered, it's just a dumbass accident, so it makes no sense to impose that restriction.  In any case, the guy didn't need to get out of his seat to set off his explosive, so I don't get the point at all.


    You'd think a British engineering student (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:41:00 PM EST
    could come up with a device that actually worked. Maybe he was just incompetent?

     My guess is that we're not very far away from periodic ideological screening for foreign students in western nations.


    Ugh. (none / 0) (#19)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:23:58 PM EST
    Man, I hope not.

    By way of affirming my prediction (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by andgarden on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:57:35 PM EST

    Mr. Abdulmutallab grew up in a rarefied slice of Nigeria, the son of an affluent banker. He attended one of the West Africa's best schools, the British School of Lomé in Togo. After high school, he went to Britain and enrolled at the University College London to study engineering.

    I just have to throw up my hands. How does one accommodate an open society to people like this?


    What "open society"? (none / 0) (#64)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:04:34 PM EST
    Also, it should come as no surprise that a person of such wealth and privilege poses more of a threat to society than your average goat-herder. Remember Osama bin Laden of the Saudi royal family?

    I mean as compared to (none / 0) (#65)
    by andgarden on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:10:31 PM EST
    East Germany or Saddam Hussein's Iraq. The only way to keep individuals like this one subdued is to create a climate of total fear.

    I haven't lived in East Germany or Iraq, but... (none / 0) (#74)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:45:01 PM EST
    Back in the early-mid 80s, I traveled fairly extensively in East Germany and several other countries in the Communist Bloc. In my experience, their transportation security officials and immigration officers were FAR LESS authoritarian and abusive toward foreign travelers than their counterparts in the U.S.

    Ever go though immigration leaving (none / 0) (#77)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:53:03 PM EST
    Moscow airport?  Scary.

    That's my point (none / 0) (#82)
    by andgarden on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 07:09:20 PM EST
    The people are otherwise so terrorized that special airport security isn't needed. Old Germans supposedly lament that you could leave your door unlocked at night during the 3rd Reich.

    So, if the US were a more thoroughly (none / 0) (#105)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 03:38:08 PM EST
    fascist state we would be able to keep our shoes on at the airport and leave our doors unlocked at night?

    BTW, I doubt that many German Jews left their doors unlocked at night during the 3rd Reich.


    Good news: it was amateur night. Again. (none / 0) (#28)
    by FreakyBeaky on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:54:19 PM EST
    Bad news: eventually, one of these clowns is going to get lucky.

    Aye. Bungled detonator design/execution (none / 0) (#32)
    by RonK Seattle on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:14:10 PM EST
    ... but an adequate quantum of PETN tucked under the guy's nuts. It ignited instead of exploding.

    Another sad sack Richard Reid, probably now a nutless nutbag.


    He did it (none / 0) (#94)
    by jbindc on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:53:13 AM EST
    So it would be over a major metropolitan area.  The experts are now thinking Detroit wasn't the target necessarily - he just hopped on a plane that would get him to a major area.  Setting it off at 30,000 over the ocean wouldn't have had the same effect.

    I've been saying (none / 0) (#33)
    by Spamlet on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:37:45 PM EST
    that I'll stop flying when those virtual-strip-search scanners become compulsory, but this idiocy may get me out of the air first. It may also prove to be the final outrage for lots of other soon-to-be former air travelers.

    Not even my book on my lap? (none / 0) (#46)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:10:46 PM EST
    That's going to be a problem.

    Does anybody know the criteria (none / 0) (#51)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:18:57 PM EST
    or methodology that the TSA uses to randomly select people for secondary screening?

    I am "randomly" selected for secondary screening about 70% of the time I fly out of a particular regional airport. (By contrast, my regular travel companion has never been subject to secondary screening.) What, if any, of my rights are being violated here?


    I swear I was on some sort of list (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Cream City on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:22:14 PM EST
    at the start of all this, after 9/11.  For our next several flights, I was the only one pulled aside, made to semi-strip, have everything in my bags pulled out, etc.  It was so bad for one flight, a charter, that the plane had to be held for me.  Imagine the fun of finally getting on and going all the way down the aisle as everyone figures out who was the problem person that held up everyone else.

    Finally, after a few years of this, I contacted my Congressional office with a detailed letter about the times it happened, some of the borderline-abusive behaviors of the screeners, and more.  My Congressperson knows me pretty well -- enough to know and probably tell the feds that my musing about going to the media with all this was not an idle threat.  

    It stopped.  Try it.


    Ugh. (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by otherlisa on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:10:09 AM EST
    Yeah. It was weird. "Stand on the footprints and face your personal belongings." The petty authoritarianism in particular was creepy.

    Good for you for standing up to that! I did not handle it well.


    I just got "randomly selected" (none / 0) (#83)
    by otherlisa on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 08:00:05 PM EST
    for the first time ever the other night. I had been rebooked on a flight without knowing about it in advance (because the flight I was on got cancelled) -- I mean, I found out as soon as they rebooked me but I hardly had any time to get to the airport and make it onto the plane. To the point where the ticket agent walked -- or ran, rather -- me to the head of the security line.

    I got picked and I don't know whether it was totally random, because I was sweating from having to run to security or whether it was because I was wearing a Chargers sweatshirt in San Francisco. But you know, the ticket agent RAN ME THROUGH SECURITY so I could make my flight, and I get picked for secondary screening!

    And then there is no "female officer to assist" and I stood in that f***ing plastic box for something like ten minutes.

    I made my plane, but only because it got delayed.


    Well, this subject is returning (none / 0) (#95)
    by jbindc on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:54:01 AM EST
    Buy some stock in whoever makes (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:02:06 PM EST
    Depends.... And there goes in flight drinks sales..

    Perhaps we'll see an uptick in both (none / 0) (#55)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:27:12 PM EST
    Adult Depends and in-flight drink sales.

    On the other hand, it could be a lot more interesting if a bunch of people dispensed with the diapers and just peed themselves right there in their seats. In fact, a pee-in might be just the ticket.


    UrineAir (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:29:45 PM EST
    Where every seat is also a toilet. How commodious!

    Thank you - that gave me my first (none / 0) (#59)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:35:23 PM EST
    laugh of the day Ruffian.

    You are welcome anytime (none / 0) (#61)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:47:13 PM EST
    Sometimes this stuff gets too ridiculous for words.

    Just had dinner with a pilot friend (none / 0) (#88)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 08:52:36 PM EST
    He thought the one hour before landing was outrageous and said a few cases of people urinating on themselves, or worse, would lead to enough lawsuits to change it.

    My brother and sister-in-law fly for (none / 0) (#92)
    by sleepingdogs on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:16:52 AM EST
    a regional carrier with very small planes.  Many passengers are surprised to find there is no on-board bathroom on these small planes.  Urination in the seats is quite common.  

    I say the time has come for airport issued in-flight jump-suits with a valium or two to render passengers complacent and/or harmless.


    I hate to fly (none / 0) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:58:57 PM EST
    I don't care how many times my husband explains lift to me, and how I'm safer than I am in a car.  It's like tunnels for me, I'm KNOW that I'm not in control in the case of an emergency and that makes me phobic.  Two martinis before flight.........one in flight, that could get me through.  Then it began to become worrisome if you appeared drunk on boarding so my husband said that one before flight and two inflight would be better so there I am, desperately flagging the attendant down to get that second one ahead of the curve if I can and telling myself that the whole plane is pretty sure I need a meeting.  I'm so screwed.  It's three martinis and board or nothing.

    My daughter (none / 0) (#16)
    by CoralGables on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:49:01 PM EST
    is flying South on Jet Blue right now. I suggested taking one big bag to check (free on Jet Blue), no carry on, and wear her Rainbows. She said she'd leave behind the laptop, Ipod, and belt too. If she had trouble at security it will be hell today for everyone.

    As I was attempting to find out (none / 0) (#18)
    by KeysDan on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:10:43 PM EST
    details about the "pants bomber",  I was reminded of Glen Greenwald's frequent comments on the Obama Administration's penchant for the anonymous source.  Reports were replete with "the White House said", an official who did not want to be identified" thinks-type reports.  For a serious matter such as this, it would have been reassuring and responsible, not to mention transparent and accountable, to have an official, say, Ms. Napolitano, or a named deputy, provide information.  Of course, the information may be sketchy or sensitive, but most would understand that part.  As it was, Peter King, "ranking Republican member of the intelligence committee" offered comments for attribution--so the go to guys are the Republicans now?

    Peter King generally (none / 0) (#20)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:28:14 PM EST
    just has a big mouth and does not respect requests to keep it shut in the middle of an ongoing investigation.  He's been the source for this kind of thing before.

    Agree with you totally that they need to designate a recognizable official to provide "authorized" info publicly to the extent that they feel they can.

    These "white house sources" and "administration officials" need to either name themselves and provide on the record info or STFU.  IMHO, of course.


    Got to airport in Austin very early. (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:38:50 PM EST
    No crowds.  Had decided to carry on my brother's gift, which is made of stone and is either an object d'art and/or a pestle and mortar.  My choice.  Required second screening.  Then good to go.  If SW announced the stay-in-your seat rule re final hour of 3 hr. flight, I didn't hear it, due to the marvel of noice-cancelling headphones.  Home airport--a madhouse for outgoing travelers.  No sweat for me.  

    You may have missed the new security (none / 0) (#35)
    by nycstray on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:49:15 PM EST
    because you flew earlier in the day. They obviously spent some time thinking about it . . .   :P

    On the early news here they had a reporter at LaGuardia and there didn't seem to be increased security, but it was pretty early in the day. If this guy had this stuff on him the entire time, the new restrictions wouldn't have done diddly squat.


    Breaking news! (none / 0) (#62)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:50:28 PM EST
    Vermont's murder rate fell this year.

    To 4.  Not a typo, 4.

    Last year, by contrast, was a record high-- 17.

    I was going to tell you how much I liked (none / 0) (#66)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:11:30 PM EST
    the movie "Nine"...then you got me thinking about peeing on airplanes.

    Back to my fantasy life, in which I am the muse in Daniel Day-Lewis's daydreams...anyway, "Nine" was as good as I hoped it would be. I could quibble with a few points here and there, but overall I loved it. It is gorgeous to look at and most of the original songs from the musical were done very well by the various cast members. DDL and Marion Cotillard were both wonderful, both acting and singing. I would love to see them together in another film. Judi Dench was great too, as usual.  Anyway, I can highly recommend it, and plan to see it again with other friends.

    Whispered quote of the day from an elderly lady behind me, after one of DDL's best scenes: "He's a very good actor."  I'll give her a pass, knowing "There Will be Blood" and "The Ballad of Jack and Rose" were probably not on her 'must see list".


    Daniel Day Lewis has a life-long free-pass (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:49:45 PM EST
    by virtue of his gob-smacking debut in My Beautiful Launderette.

    He does (none / 0) (#78)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:53:56 PM EST
    I was just astounded someone needed to whisper that to their companion. I wanted to turn around and say 'he's Daniel Day Lewis, for the love of god!'

    I can't wait!!! (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:40:29 PM EST
    I think you'll be pleased! (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:43:18 PM EST
    Cant wait for you to see it too, and we can discuss details!

    Anyone want to check and make sure BTD is ok? (none / 0) (#68)
    by Tony on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:32:43 PM EST
    Urban Meyer out at Florida!

    Wow - I better check with my boss too (none / 0) (#73)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:43:49 PM EST
    He is cites faith and family. (none / 0) (#79)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:58:03 PM EST
    Maybe Tebow got to him?  link

    Looks like a health issue of some kind (none / 0) (#81)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:59:48 PM EST
    Maybe Tebow will heal him

    He was hospitalized (none / 0) (#89)
    by CoralGables on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:16:14 PM EST
    after the Alabama game. I'm no doctor but none of these things sound good. It's being reported by second hand sources that he has an arachnoid cyst on his brain, very high blood pressure, possibly a heart valve muscle defect, and most recently 2 incidents of severe chest pains within 5 days of each other.

    Spurrier said a few years back, it's not much fun coaching at a school where if you don't win ten games or more the season is a failure.


    I don't believe that :) (none / 0) (#93)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:57:43 AM EST
    I believe that someone who has made constant note of the fact that this administration's financials have never added up, and someone who works very hard to make a correct analysis, and someone who has no patience for the willfully blind, has every reason to spend the whole week at the movies with his kids :)  He's pretty good about knowing when to hold em, fold em, walk away, run.  All those writings about HOLC and taking the banks and instituting real regulations THEN....time for movies.  The leftosphere can burn itself down just fine.

    Is MT going rogue? (none / 0) (#97)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:39:37 AM EST
    What is going Rogue when I go there? (none / 0) (#98)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:18:46 PM EST
    Lot's of people tend to think I go there a lot, like every day :)

    Your comment didn't seem to relate to (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:31:40 PM EST
    resignation of Urban Meyer. But what do I know?

    I barely know who that is (none / 0) (#101)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:33:11 PM EST
    I had to google him

    And why do I put an apostrophe (none / 0) (#99)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:20:44 PM EST
    in the word lots, then post it, then read it, and it's wrong?  It's bad grammar, all the time!

    I think it's time for a nudist flight (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:39:27 PM EST
    option to be made available on heavily customered routes.  The nudists of the world will be ecstatic.  Those people in Boulder who garden naked will vacation more, and that will make their neighbors happy.  The rest of us SHOULD save some tax money.  I see win/wins all over

    We are watching Capt Howdy's movie now (none / 0) (#103)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:15:07 PM EST