TSA Employees Have Cancer, DHS’s Head Still In Sand

It’s been longstanding well known knowledge around frequent fliers that even TSA agents don’t stand near their porno-scanner machines. They don’t allow customers to carry dosimeters, and they quote doctrine which implies they don’t know the difference in radiation dissipation from their machines and natural radiation at higher altitudes that occasionally get through the aircraft’s metal skin.

In Epic v DHS, the US Department of Homeland Security also seems to be surprised that radiation can cause cancer.

TSA employees may have detected a Cancer Cluster, but this information is held from the unquestioning travellers — perhaps for fear of countering the goal of making fliers feel safer.

At what point will TSA and their parent DHS actually being acting in a way that encourages trust?


Prejudice to a Name

Prejudice is prejudice: be it by race, colour, body shape, and yes, even a name.

Can a word describing an industry that built up demand for bandwidth on the internet, improved video codecs (faster youtube videos), and the electronic payment-processing system, be a bad thing?

Very few people have indicated concern over my email address: chickenandporn is a name I picked up from a joke based on a college event. Most people are unconcerned; others are concerned for themselves: somehow a word about an industry is a very bad thing — I’d hate how these people judge the industry itself, or the talent involved. Finally, there’s a group that are concerned not for themselves, but over concern that others might be concerned. Yes, concerned that someone ELSE might be worried. I like to call these the Sympathetically Skittish, or the “HR Wimps” for short.

Some people will talk to you about things that concern them: politics, your choice in fashion, Michele Bachmann’s questionable understanding of .. everything.. It depends. Most people are tolerant of a wide range of things, especially engineers and international travellers. Shoot, the more you travel, the more you realize how petty the HR Wimps’ concerns are.

Still, another group will have all sorts of concerns or issues, and never mention a word about it. I lie to call these people “Dicks”. I’m not sure what it is about Dicks, whether they take pleasure in mistakes made by others rather than helping them, or whether they worry that they might be incorrect. Hell, incorrectness is merely a discussion away, and that discussion itself leads to better understanding. Maybe Dicks think they are correct and avoid discussions which might cause discovery of possible error. No, don’t want that. In general, Dicks are, well, Dicks.

Another type of person I typically refer to in the negative are those security guards who see flashy, shiny people walk by all day, and out of jealousy, use their little bit of power to harass them. It’s not like that security guard, that TSA agent, that rent-a-cop is going to risk his life to save ours. No. They just slow us down, jack us up a bit, partially as theatre and partially from, well, being a Dick.

Unfortunately, the TSA has collected up a bunch of these people, honed their harassment skill, and allowed them to congregate where they can cross-pollinate their dick-ness.

I could see the position of HR people — knowing who makes what salary — combining with the comparison and resulting envy that always ensues from discussion salaries — leading to unhappy people looking to screw with whoever passes their desk who might earn a better salary. The few exceptions to this seem to be my current coworkers, and Sandra in NYC. She knows who she is, and she is a genuinely nice person.

Unfortunately, what grates on me is that HR Wimps are also Dicks.

Moreso than power-drunk security.

In order to get through to people who actually have a clue, we need to wade through the muck of HR Wimps who just want reasons to exclude us.

Seriously, that is what an HR Wimps is trying to do: exclude you. They’re looking for any reason to kick you out of the liferaft because that’s their job. It’s not their job to find the best candidate, the most skilled, the guys who really know anything. No. They need to whittle a stack down to a few.

I’m not sure what pisses me off more: The Dicks in life who don’t help others, or the HR Wimps, or the HR Wimps who are Dicks and act like power-drunk Security Guards: you’re shiny, so I have therefore shat upon you.

All because of a name, a race, a colour, a belief, whatever might be different, therefore suspect or wrong.

Don’t be a Dick.