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Posts Tagged ‘security’

“All the security you have in the world is right between your ears.” Ken Nelson; ILD Global

Be strong in who you are and in your beliefs. Build your mental strength. Don’t sway with the cultural mores and beliefs of the time. Know what you stand for NO MATTER WHAT. Others may not understand. It doesn’t matter. Be mentally strong.

DO WHAT IS RIGHT … NO MATTER WHAT.

20140114-123743.jpg

Don’t worry about what small minds think.

You are your own security.

Develop your spirit into a big one.

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There are numerous individuals in the public eye that have spoken out lately about how a woman can feel safe on the streets against an armed and dangerous contingency that might prey on weakness.  Some of these comments border on crazy.  We won’t go into all of those, but anyone that has paid attention to the news has heard them.

We contend that the more knowledge and training each woman has about self-defense, the more likely she is to be safe, as we all know full well that we cannot depend on the law itself or those that serve in law enforcement to always be there for us.  A society of people that knows how to protect itself against criminals … or against an unscrupulous government intent on squelching them … are by far safer and more polite.  We subscribe to the following:

 guns empower women

I’ll guarantee you that anyone that might think otherwise of me … better think again.

Roy will attest to that.

He’s made sure that I know what to do.

home gun 

I can’t afford private armed guards like the leftist limousine liberal set.  I also can’t depend on law enforcement to always be exactly where I need them.  I can, however, guarantee where I am … and what sort of training I have. 

woman's hands 

Now … keep in mind as you read the above … the only thing that would make me angry and hold a gun at the same time would be if I feel like my life, liberty, and safety are in jeopardy … as well as that of my friends and family.

So I’ll end with this …

… since I really admire this woman …

… and admire her spirit …

… and admire her music …

miranda lambert 

I am my own security.

 

 

 

 

 

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TSA

Now those are initials that make every American that has flown on a public airline in the past several years think: “Oh terrific *NOW* what degrading thing will I have to endure?”

TSA

They have to make up reasons to be relevant.

TSA

They come up with more and more reasons for me to want to buy a private airplane (and if I had the disposable cash … I would).

TSA

Let me tell you my most recent experience.  Be ready however.  This is LONG.  They never cease to amaze me.

This past weekend, Roy and I took a business trip to southern California (Ontario to be exact).  We were flying out of the Sacramento Airport on Southwest.  We always have great experiences with Southwest.  This was still the case.  Another entity was the problem.

TSA

I could go off on the fact that it’s comparing apples to alligators by putting a *private* industry (Southwest) against a *government* bloated entity (TSA).  I won’t do that this time at least although that truly *is* one of the issues here.  (Even though I currently work for the government, I know it’s overly bloated and wish it was easier for private industry to actually get off the ground in today’s disastrous socio-economic climate, but BO’s Taxmageddon thuggery has made it nigh on impossible for most to make a go of it.)   This however isn’t the purpose of my blogpost here (although I’m quite willing to note it in a cursory manner here).

 

🙂

 

Anywho!  I’ll get back to my topic at hand.

TSA

I’ll go back.  Roy and I started the morning in question at 4:00 AM.  We were running late and didn’t leave home till 5:45 AM.  This was for an 8:30 AM flight, and we first had an hour drive to my daughter’s home to drop off Outback (aka Yappy) as she was going to stay there for the weekend with Kara, Alex, and my granddoggy, Leia.  We managed to do it in 45 minutes.

Don’t ask.  We ain’t admittin’ to nuthin never no how not even on how that was accomplished.

 

 

🙂

 

 

So there.

 

 

Outback (aka CrazyDog) got deposited and we took off for what should have been a 10 minute ride *max* to the airport long term lot, got all discombobulated, and somehow got lost & headed fast up the wrong freeway.

After yelling at and blaming each other, we finally got turned around and headed in the right direction.  We got to the airport lots about 7:00 AM, raced into a spot, and jumped onto a shuttle where we bolted up to the Southwest counters, checked in, and hopped onto the interior shuttle train to the security checkpoint area.

It was simply amazing!  The lines were almost empty.  Woohoo!  All is well.

Hmmm.  Remember though who actually runs those checkpoints.

TSA

Fine.  I’ll follow their degrading dehumanizing requirements.

Shoes in a bin

Jacket in a bin

Belt in a bin

Cell phone in a bin

Laptop in a bin

Briefcase to be scanned

Purse to be scanned

Jill into the little area with her hands in the air …

Jill to be scanned

At least it wasn’t “Jill in a bin”.

“Wait there”, I’m told as I exit.

TSA

Ok *now* what?????

TSA

“What have you got tucked into your bra, Ma’am?”

Huh?

Now I’ll admit I had all sorts of comments that I could have made (and wanted to make) to that question that ran through my mind, but I thought better of my snide and/or rude comments and said …

Uhhhh … nothing.

“It looks like you have something on your back tucked into your bra.  I have to pat you down.”

Ok fine go ahead.

Now mind you … the nice lady found nothing (which I’d have been shocked if she *had*), but REALLY? 

Do I *really* look like I might?

Picture me now:

I’m 58 years old. I’m 5’10” with red hair, green eyes, fair skin, and freckles.  I am outspoken with a unique (lower than most women) voice.  I do *not* blend in easily (nor do I want to).  I am distinctive.  I was wearing white running shoes (that were being scanned), a nice black leather jacket I bought at Nordstrom many years ago (that I fit into again, thank you very much *and* that was also being scanned), and baggy Levi blue jeans as I’ve lost a bunch of weight, and I’m way too cheap to buy new ones until I am stabilized at my goal weight (which I’m within 2 pounds of … thank you very much).  I also had on a red, white, and blue American flag t-shirt that isn’t baggy so anything tucked into my bra would have been very noticeable on me.

REALLY?

I’m not one that will blend into the crowd … nor would I ever want to.  Being mediocre to me would be a curse.

 

 

 IMG_20130131_0083410

 

 

Oh wait.  I forgot.

TSA

Fine.  The nice TSA lady patted.  Then the nice TSA lady smiled and said “oh … your pants are too baggy, that’s why” (which I guess is why they thought something was in my bra … go figure … it makes no sense to my warped brain but whatever …), and I was released and sent on my merry way.  Roy and I arrived at the Southwest gate with just a few minutes to spare while he asked what all that was about and I answered that I had no F___ING clue.

Anyway … whew!  We made it.

… but wait … there’s more … because remember …

TSA

So we pulled ourselves together, made pit stops in the bathroom, and relaxed a minute, eating the food we brought for breakfast since it was WAY too early when we got up to try to force in anything nutritious before we left.  While we were busy stuffing our faces, we noticed someone running across the tarmac, up the back stairs, and setting up a little table next to the station agent.  Two people came and stood by it.  We wondered what it was for, but we assumed it was perhaps to do a quality check on the boarding agent or whatever.   Almost as soon as we were done eating, all of the passengers were asked to line up as per Southwest normal requirements, and, being fairly far up in the “A” line, we thought all was well.

TSA

We advanced in line with everyone going in smoothly, and I handed the Southwest agent my boarding pass while the nice people standing by the table watched what he was doing.  As soon as he scanned my pass and my name came up on his monitor, the two people standing there said …

“Ma’am, can we check your carry-on bags?”

Ummm … ok … fine …

I handed everything to them but thought … these were just SCANNED at the security check point so why in hell do they need to hand check my bags again?

Whatever … I handed it to them … and they told my husband behind me that he could “go ahead and get on without her”.

“No,” said Roy.  “This is my wife.  I’m standing here with her until whatever is going on is done.”

(Thank you, Roy.  We always have each other’s backs.)

People went around us.  This irritated me because we’d specifically AIMED to get a good placement in line by PRE-checking in the day before and they were pushing people around us.

They opened my bag and looked all through it.  They gave it back to me … smiled … and said “ok, you’re fine”.

Now.  I KNOW I’m fine.  As Roy knows, I’m always  fine.  I don’t need them to tell me that.  I make sure I’m fine no matter what is going on around me.

Anyway, what the HECK was that all about?

We’re told … oh, it’s just a random check of various people.

Hmmm.  Ok.  We’ll let it pass because TSA and the Big Brother Government (aka Nanny Government) have us all by the short hairs here, but we still wondered … as did EVERYONE that got on with us.  We all decided it was simply government workers trying to come up with a reason for their existence.  I don’t think they checked anyone behind me, but I don’t know for sure.  I didn’t really care at the time.  All I knew was that I was on the plane.

TSA

Now the flight was great … and it was PERHAPS 30% full, so we had a lot of space to stretch out and relax, which was great.  Southwest Airlines always comes through.  I still wondered what all of that was about though.

We got to Ontario and all was fine.  We got the shuttle from the airport to the hotel and were set to just relax for the afternoon.  We got checked into our room and I opened up the suitcase to get some food out that we’d packed.

That’s when I saw it.

TSA

Do you know those little cards they stick in your luggage to say “we pawed through your junk to see if there was anything weird in there”?  You know … one of these …

 

 

TSA baggage inspection card 

 

 

There was one placed in there.  It had even been date and time stamped (which I don’t think I’d ever seen before) as well as hand initialed.  There was something lying on top of it.  It was wedged so it wouldn’t move.  That way, when I opened the bag, it would be very clear that the “inspector” wanted me to know something.  I burst out laughing, which completely confused Roy, making him ask:

“What’s so funny?”

TSA

“Huh?”

TSA

“What about them?”

Come look at this.  NOW I know what they were all worked into a tizzy about at the Sacramento airport.

First, I’ll back up here.  (Hey, did you REALLY think that I’d tell you that quickly and easily with how long this is already?  Geez, I want to build the suspense even more.  Besides, this requires background from all sorts of angles.)

Besides … remember … it’s …

TSA

I go to work early.  To be exact, I get up at 4:15 AM every work day.  I’m out the door by 5:10 AM at the latest.  I’m on a commuter bus between 5:20 AM & 5:30 AM.  I’m at work no later than 6:30 AM.  More often than not, it is dark when I get to work.  I work in downtown Sacramento.  While it isn’t far from the bus to where I work and the building where I work is right near the State Capitol building, at that time of the day, you just never know what might happen.  I also live up in the Sierra foothills.  There are mountain lions, bears, coyotes, etc that roam the property.  I have to be prepared.  This is part of why I’m for the 2nd Amendment in the US Constitution and the ability to protect myself, because if something were to happen, it would be immediate, and I don’t think a mountain lion (or whatever) will go on pause if I say, “oh wait … before you try to bite me in the neck at the jugular … let me call 911 so I can get some help here”.  I need to be able to protect myself, and when I do, it needs to be immediate.

So I carry pepper spray with me everywhere I go.  It’s just my little safety net.  I know that it is legal and no one needs a license to carry it.  I always have it in my purse and don’t think much of it.

In any event, it was in a purse that I had packed and sent under the plane in my checked baggage. 

As per TSA … yes …

TSA

… this is a legal thing to do.  See my excerpt below copied directly from the TSA website.  Yes … that’s right …

TSA

 

 

Martial Arts & Self Defense Items

Item

Carry-on?

Checked?

Billy Clubs

X

OK

Black Jacks

X

OK

Brass Knuckles

X

OK

Kubatons

X

OK

Self Defense Sprays – One 4 ounce (118ml) container of mace or pepper spray is permitted in checked baggage provided it is equipped with a safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge. Self Defense Sprays containing more than 2% by mass of Tear Gas (CS or CN) are prohibited in Checked Baggage. For more information visit www.faa.gov., click on Passengers, then Preparing to Fly.

X

OK

Martial Arts Weapons

X

OK

Night Sticks

X

OK

Nunchucks

X

OK

Stun Guns/Shocking Devices

X

OK

Throwing Stars

X

OK

NOTE: Any sharp objects in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and Security Officers.

http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items#9

 

 

So this was perfectly legal.  Hell, the website even states that things like brass knuckles, nunchucks, stun guns, etc are legal, and none of those are something that I would DREAM of carrying.  So pepper spray (which is specifically listed) that can be used even in bear attacks shouldn’t be a great big deal … or so you would think, anyway.

Ah yes …

TSA

In any event, I had forgotten that it was even in there.

So anyway … back to my original story …

When I opened up my luggage to get out food that I’d sent under the plane, I found my pepper spray … pulled up and out of the purse it had been in and laid on top of the TSA card that had been date stamped and initialed and then wedged in so that it wouldn’t move until I found it.

 

 

Ontario-20130126-00505 

 

 

Really?  REALLY?  Are you F___ING KIDDING me?  They’d scanned my carry-on already at the security checkpoint.  They’d scanned ME, for heaven’s sake.  They’d patted me down and personally checked what I had also.  They then had to make a huge scene at the gate also.  Then they wedge it into the luggage with the inspection card.  That tells me that when they pulled me aside at the gate, they were OBVIOUSLY looking to see if I was trying to carry more pepper spray onboard with me (or whatever else).  I’m sorry but that is definitely not in my nature.  I’d rather get where I’m going safely, thank you just the same.  I haven’t spent 58 years on this planet to do anything like that.

TSA

If there had truly been an issue here, they should have just taken it out of my checked luggage and confiscated it.  I don’t care.  It is so second nature for me to carry it for self-protection that it didn’t occur to me that some over-zealous agent might get their panties in a wad over it.  Besides, it was ok according to their very own website for travelers like me to put pepper spray into checked luggage on an airplane as long as it met certain requirements.  Guess what?  It met their requirements!!!

TSA

Then, they SCANNED me at the security checkpoint … scanned every article of clothing I could take off without being indecent … scanned every inch of my carry-on luggage …  and patted me down in security.  What in GOD’S name did they think I was going to sneak in between security and the entry gate?  I’m not one of the wizards trained at Hogwarts.  I can’t just have something appear out of thin air.  This was plain, flat, and simple an over-reaction on their part and/or a not-so-veiled attempt at intimidation.

Guess what?

I don’t intimidate easily.

However, I’m not paranoid either so if this was just inexperience or over-cautiousness on their part, don’t you think that the fact that I was scanned AND patted down in security should cover it?  Do I really look like that much of a threat?  Come ON, now, people. 

Oh wait …

TSA

By the way … my return flight from Ontario also required a pat down … but this time … it was “because your pants are too baggy”.  However, at least they didn’t body check me at the gate too.

Nevertheless … baggy pants?  Yes.  I’ve lost weight.  My pants are loose on me.  I get it.  I know  my pants are baggy.  I know  that I’ve lost weight.  I lost weight on purpose, people, and I’m too cheap to buy new pants until my weight has stabilized.  Get over it.

Oh … wait … don’t let me forget or get ahead of myself …

TSA

 

 

 

 

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