Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

23 August 2010

Airline Travel and Security - I'll Drive Instead

Acronyms For TSA:
  • Thousands Standing Around
  • Tray Stackers Association
  • Truly Stupid Assholes
  • Taking Scissors Away
Okay, that’s it, I will NEVER fly on the airlines again. Screw them. I’ve had it. This whole “TSA: Everyone’s A Terrorist” attitude has just turned me off completely. All the airlines can go bankrupt for all I care.

Last time I flew, I was departing Pensacola, Florida on a quiet Sunday morning. You know Pensacola, that hotbed of terrorist activity. Being a big Navy town, there were two young Navy guys in uniform ahead of me in the line as we wended our way through SECURITY. At the metal detector point in the gauntlet, the TSA nazi barked at the Navy guys for their ID’s. With uncalled-for nastiness, he pulled them aside, gave them the third-degree and thoroughly checked to make sure they were who they said they were. Me, he waved through without a second look.

As we were gathering our things from the conveyer and putting our shoes back on (how fucking silly is this your-shoes-could-be-bombs thing?) I commented to one of the Navy guys about how paranoid we’ve become as a nation and how little respect we have for the military. He just shrugged; it is what it is – he was apparently used to it. The thing is, he should have to be.

There is this guy named Joe Sharkey. He’s a freelance travel writer now; used to write for the NY Times. His big claim to fame is that in 2006 he was on an airplane that was involved in a midair collision. And he survived.

The plane he was on was a new business jet being ferried from its South American manufacturer to its new home with a charter operator in the U.S. Due to proven incompetence on the part of the American pilots (as well as a host of other ancillary causal factors), the wingtip of the business jet struck the wing of a Boeing 737 operated by Gol Airlines. As luck/fate/fortune would have it, the 737 was so badly damaged that it crashed, killing all 154 people onboard. Amazingly, the business jet suffered comparatively little damage and the pilots were able to make a safe emergency landing.

Sharkey is not a pilot, but he fancies himself as an expert in all things aviation. To this day, he stubbornly and vigorously defends “his” pilots, making the somewhat weak (if not untenable) claim that they did everything right and nothing wrong – even though the evidence is to the contrary. His loyalty is noble but misplaced. Those guys screwed up, pure and simple. Sharkey just can’t bring himself to admit it. Or won’t.

That being said, Sharkey does have a blog which focuses mostly on airline travel. It is called, naturally enough, Joe Sharkey At Large. He’s certainly not a fan of the TSA, and frequently writes about this fiasco of an organization. Some of the recent things the TSA has done are just unbelievable. No matter how old you are, they will make you shake your head and go, “WTF!” I mean, we REALLY need to dissolve the TSA.

I don’t think much of Joe Sharkey, but I urge you to read his blog. It’s an eye-opener. Perhaps, like me, it’ll make you never want to fly on the airlines ever again. Like I said, I’m done. I’ve had enough of this “security” bullshit. I'll just friggin' drive from now on.

POSTSCRIPT: Once I wrote disparagingly about another blogger, and he soon showed up here defending himself! It was a guy who wrote about media stuff, not aviation-related at all - I even forget his name. Anyway, it wasn't that any of his friends saw my post and informed the guy - no, he'd just googled his own name and found the link to my post. People with huge egos often google themselves just to see where they're being mentioned because they're typically obsessed with their own imagined fame. Thus, I have no doubt that Joe Sharkey will eventually show up here, telling me that I don't know what I'm talking about because I wasn't on the plane and that he was blah blah blah. Meh- whatever.

Legacy/Gol Mid Air Collision Wiki Article

Joe Sharkey's Blog

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