Archive for October, 2006

Air Serv

October 29, 2006

Air Serv ticket checkers play an important role in airport security.

Checkers limit access through the checkpoint to the following people: passengers holding tickets with proper ID, FAA/TSA employees with identification, and airline and airport employees with proper badges.

But what happens if a firefighter with a hose, or an FBI agent with an arrest warrant wants to pass?

Air Serv webpage

October 29, 2006

I found the text below on

It was very light gray text on a white background. That could be an attempt at what is known as spamdexing or search engine spamming.

Air Serv might work for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) which is a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Air Serv , aka Air Serv Corporation is an international aviation service provider based in Atlanta, Georgia. Air Serv delivers innovative, dependable airline service solutions to the aviation industry. Air Serv offers various services, such as skycap, baggage handling, ticket verification, wheelchair services, lobby management, unaccompanied minor, twov, electric cart drivers, ramp screening, door guarding, customer service, document control, cargo handling, airport shuttle, employee shuttle, crew transport, fixed route, paratransit, cabin cleaning, LAV / Water Services, Ground Support Equipment, Ground Handling, Into-plane Feuling or just feuling. Air Serv, aka Air Serv Corporation is located in Atlanta. Frank Argenbright , Founder, Air Serv.

Maybe someone should report this to their Compliance Hotline. Apparently, none of the nearly 5,000 Air Serv employees have done so yet.

Air Serv / TSA

October 29, 2006

Below, a person who writes travel books shares his experience with employees from a company called Air Serv Corp from Atlanta, Georgia and the US Transportation Security Administration. (Note: it appears that at least one TSA employee has referred to this company as “Airserve”)

But never, anywhere in the world — including a fairly wide variety of police states — have I been threatened with arrrest while travelling, merely for asking questions about what was happening.

Until last month, at Dulles Airport outside Washington, DC, USA.

I checked in at the United Airlines counter, showed my USA passport to the airline staff person when they asked me to show them my identification, and received my boarding pass and baggage check with almost an hour left before my flight. (I didn’t argue, but what they meant was to “show my credentials” — identification is an act or process, not a tangible object.)

So when one of a group of people between the check-in counter and the TSA checkpoint — who appeared to be neither TSA nor airline employees — said to me, “I need to see your boarding pass and ID”, I took the time to ask him, “Why? Who are you?”

“I need to check your boarding pass and ID,” he repeated. (“I need to…” is a peculiarly ambiguous locution. Is it an order, or a request? Must I satisfy your needs?)

“But why? Who do you work for? Am I required to open my passport for unidentified strangers?”

“We work for the TSA”, he said, and pointed to a logo on the badge that hung from a a lanyard around his neck.

There was a logo there — too small for me to read, even with my bifocals, without getting closer than seemed polite. But he wasn’t wearing anything that looked like a TSA uniform, and the largest line on his and his colleagues’ badges said, Airserv . I didn’t see anything saying “TSA” or “United Airlines”.

“Do you work for the TSA? Or do you work for Airserv?”

“Actually, we work for Airserv.”

“So what’s the relationship between Airserv and the TSA? Does the TSA require me to open my passport for you?”

“All our screening personnel at this airport are TSA employees,” Mr Graham told me.

“I see, sir. Thank you for clarifying that. So do these people with the badges that say ‘Airserv’ work for the TSA?”


“That’s what I thought, sir. But this man claimed that they work for the TSA, and said that’s why they have the TSA logo on their badges.”

“TSA logo? There’s no TSA logo on their badges. That’s the logo of Customs and Border Protection [another division of the Department of Homeland Security]. That shows that they are authorized to be in the secure customs area of the airport.”

“Then are you concerned, sir, that he claimed to be a TSA employee, when he’s not?”

“No, sir. That’s not my concern.” I thought that impersonating a Federal officer was a serious crime, but Mr. Graham didn’t seem to care.

To give an added frisson of resemblance to countries with corrupt or dysfunctional police and governments, the people in uniform demanding people’s credentials are lying about being government employees. The real government employees watching them don’t care.

National Guard / states’ rights

October 29, 2006

Last December, the Army and the Air Force decided to try to make precipitous cuts to the National Guard. The Army sought to cut the Army Guard by almost 17,000 soldiers, while the Air Force drove for reductions of almost 14,000 airmen. These personnel cuts were made without consultation with the National Guard Bureau, the States Adjutants General, and the nation’s governors.

While the National Guard constitutes a high percentage of our total number of ground troops, it has just a sliver of the overall percentage of three- and four-star General officers. And, while the Air National Guard constitutes a high percentage of the Air Force’s mobility assets and a similarly high percent of its strike assets, the Air Guard has a negligible share of the high-ranking positions, where important decisions are made.

In fact, we would get nothing done in Congress if we were to wait for every commission, study group, and research panel to finish its work.

It is easy to see the attempts of the President and his advisors to avoid the debacle involving the National Guard after Hurricane Katrina, when Governor Blanco of Louisiana would not give control of the National Guard over to President and the federal chain of command. Governor Blanco rightfully insisted that she be closely consulted and remain largely in control of the military forces operating in the State during that emergency. This infuriated the White House, and now they are looking for some automatic triggers — natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or a disease epidemic — to avoid having to consult with the governors.

We cannot recognize the diverse ways that the Guard supports the Country, because the Department of Defense does not like it — simply does not like it.

Because of this rubberstamp Congress, these provisions of this conference report add up to the worst of all worlds. We fail the National Guard, which expects great things from us as much as we expect great things from them. And we fail our Constitution, neglecting the rights of the States, when we make it easier for the President to declare martial law and trample on local and state sovereignty.

Alabama lies

October 29, 2006

So this lady gets my attention and says, “Can you gimme some money? I’m starvin!” I looked at her, then looked at the van parked about 50 yards away from this woman. I pointed to the van, and told the woman that the people in the van were giving out free lunches, in case this woman was simply unaware of why all of the other people who hang out all day at Linn Park were crowded around the van. I even walked over to the van and fetched a bag of food for her.

“Naw man, I mean I need some money,” she said.

“So I guess you’re not really ‘starving’ then,” I told her. “Because people who are actually starving would gladly accept a sandwich, a bag of chips and a cold bottle of water.”


October 29, 2006

Alabama Department of Corrections

October 29, 2006

new movie: TMNT

October 29, 2006

There is a new movie called ‘TMNT’ scheduled to come out in March 2007. I saw the trailer, and it does NOT make me want to see the movie.

I saw ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ at a movie theater in 1990, and I saw ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze’ at a movie theater in 1991 (and for some reason, I felt embarrassed or some similar feeling during the Vanilla Ice song). I don’t exactly remember why, but I did not see the third movie in 1993 (or ever) for some reason; maybe because the second movie was not great.

I think that the creators of the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ should have let them die in the nineties.

JetBlue and the TSA

October 28, 2006

Here’s what Inspector Harris said, according to Jarrar: “You can’t wear a T-shirt with Arabic script and come to an airport. It is like wearing a T-shirt that reads ‘I am a robber’ and going to a bank.”

“It sucks to be an Arab/Muslim living in the U.S. these days,” Jarrar says on his blog. “You are a suspected terrorist and plane hijacker.”

“Mr. Jarrar was approached both by TSA and JetBlue personnel because they saw that customers in the area had noticed his T-shirt and were confused or concerned about it,” says spokesperson Jenny Dervin.

DeKalb County, Georgia

October 28, 2006

She is suing DeKalb County, the chief of the county police department, and the officer who pulled her over on March 10 and issued her a $100 ticket for having a “lewd decal.”

Three weeks later, the ticket was dismissed because the “lewd decal” statute had been ruled unconstitutional by the Georgia Supreme Court in 1991.

I think that “I’m tired of all the Bushit” is not a good saying for a bumper sticker or anywhere else, and I am not sure if it was actually “lewd” or not, but if the law was still on the books, then I think that the police officer was correct by citing her.