Printed letters, Jan. 15, 2010

What comes next

in airport security?

Thanks to Richard Reid, the notorious “shoe bomber,” we have had to take off our shoes every time we fly for the past several years. OK, it is what it is. But now, in light of the Christmas Day “underwear bomber,” what will the Department of Homeland Security mandate?

I know it sounds silly, but will TSA now check our drawers, have us remove them for further inspection, have us turn our heads and cough?

Coming soon to an airport near you: a full-body scanner that leaves nothing to the imagination. TSA workers, focus ... focus. If implemented, I will feel like showing up at the airport in a robe with a grocery bag full of clothes, walk through the naked-chamber-of-shame and get dressed on the other side.

Profiling has been going on for decades, but to make it look more politically correct, 80-year-old grandmas in wheelchairs, women with children, pilots and flight attendants get frisked to show the diversity of screening. To whom? Does it feel like al-Qaida is winning on this front?

Good solutions that have come forth are reinforced cockpit doors, crew training, pilots with guns and, of course, the passengers. Pre-9/11, passengers would just sit there and let the hijacker divert the airplane, land and let the authorities meet his demands. Now, we have a passenger corps that is aware and reactive.

We have been very lucky, but our luck may be running out. The frequency of “man-caused-events” has escalated. The Dutch passenger, Jasper Schuringa, who tackled and restrained the “underwear bomber,” should get a medal for bravery for averting a disaster. President Obama should be indebted to him. Had this not been stopped — had the airplane been destroyed and hundreds killed — his presidency would be done.

No one has been fired to date. Obama says “the buck stops with me.” OK, then go fire yourself. If not, start acting like an American president. Stop the apologies.


Those living in gas fields should expect drilling

I’m amazed at the number of residents of Battlement Mesa who seem to be unaware they’re living in the middle of a gas field.

Somehow, there is a disconnect between where their property lies and where drilling may occur. If in doubt, check it out. Then proceed knowing that you may be subjected to drilling either next to your property or, if you lack the mineral rights, on it.

If you don’t like this, live somewhere else. It’s too late to complain later.



G.J. Postal Service workers went beyond call of duty

I want to thank Anna and Ogi at the Grand Junction Post Office for their professional service rendered to me last month.

I arrived home to find a voice mail stating that the birthday package I sent to my second cousin was not delivered due to him not living at that address. But, I was told if I would call with the current address, it would be delivered.

I called and spoke to Ogi, told him as soon as I had the address, I would call back. I got the correct address late that night and planned to call on Dec. 19 in the morning. Early on Dec. 19, Anna called me. I gave her the current address. She said the package would need to go to another Post Office location, but she would make sure it got there that day.

I had never experienced such impressive service from any post office. Anna and Ogi are two sincere and dedicated Grand Junction Postal Service employees.



Expect more intrusive airport examinations

According to Wikipedia, PETN, the explosive the Christmas Day bomber was caught with is easily detectable in the hair of people handling it. The highest residue retention is on black hair and some residue remains even after washing.

I suppose this means passengers have to get their hair mussed from now on, and if PETN is present, static electricity might set it off. All based on one incident yet to be fully explained.

The photo I saw in Time magazine of the incriminating container they found under his clothes was a man’s molded athletic protection cup. So you know what that means — even more intensive, intrusive examinations.



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