…to airline security. Thoughts from Bob Poole over at Reason.
Wayne Hale thinks that he posted in haste. But the problem remains:
Now I have re-read it and have some additional thoughts. It is clear that this is a vast scaling down from the requirements that say, Ares-1 and Orion had. And many of the paragraphs say that the specifications and standards can be replaced with alternatives, or with other standards that “meet the intent of” spec such and such. That is good. And to the casual reader that sounds like a big change. Unfortunately, it is not. Having to prove that an alternative standard is just as good as the standard NASA listed is an uphill battle. The adjudicator will be some GS-13 who has lived with one standard his whole career, understands it thoroughly, probably sat on the technical committee that wrote it, and loves it. Proving that his baby is ugly is going to be time consuming, and probably fruitless. I speak from sad experience.
So, what is my recommendation? Simple. Do what the Launch Services Program does: require that providers HAVE standards and follow them – don’t make them pick particular processes or standards, let the flexible, nimble, [your adjective here] commercial firms pick what suits their business best. As long as they have standards and stick to them – that is what we should require.
I would note that this is the FAA’s approach for launch licensing of passenger flights, until the industry matures sufficiently to develop certification standards (a point in time that is many years off).
It’s an honesty problem:
Sixteen of the waivers, you won’t be surprised to learn, were granted to union-based plans, which confirms that the sleaze-addled bill became a sleaze-addled law. Why, after all, should a few chosen companies be granted dispensation while others subsidize them?
The administration argues that these waivers are necessary only until reform takes effect in 2014, at which time workers will enjoy a wide range of approved options. Now, clearly anyone gullible enough to believe that a giant, invasive regulatory scheme is going to spur competition and choice is already working for the administration. But even if we were to suspend our disbelief, how does any of that comport with the president’s claim that we can all keep our insurance if we like it? (Answer: not well.)
The president has a problem with a lot of his claims. And as long as he continues to delude himself that the problem is the dog-food ad, and not the dog food, he’s going to continue to decline in popularity.
I like the first comment at this post by Tom Maguire on Andrew Sullivan’s latest derangement indicator:
You can always tell when someone’s calling to racists with a dog whistle. All the liberals bark.
Yes, they have much better hearing for these things than racists.
An interesting essay by Walter Russell Mead, with which I don’t entirely agree. I don’t think that the president is as smart as I’m supposed to, and I think that Mead remains unaware of how ideologically driven the president is. I’m guessing that he hasn’t read Stanley Kurtz’s book.
[Update a while later]
Obama can’t play center.
Once the Republicans take over in January, I think that they should start making some serious statements about the incompetents running the country. Even though the Senate probably wouldn’t remove, just the threat of it would still be a useful club to get the White House to clean up their mess themselves, to avoid the political fallout.
One of the many frustrating things about the Bush presidency was that he hired morons like Napolitano as well, and the House wouldn’t do anything about it, because they were “Republican” nominees.
Actually, in the Senate, I think we have the best of both worlds. The Republicans didn’t take control, so they can’t be said to be in charge of even one branch of government, but given how many Democrat seats are at risk in 2012, they probably have a working majority on politically popular issues, which means that they can not only force out the Napolitanos and LaHoods, but ensure that their replacements are nowhere near as bad, because they’ll have to get a majority vote of the Senate.
[Late morning update]
Speaking of Senate confirmations, this looks like one that will be DOA, or at least it should be. Actually, I’d like to see a complete overhaul of BATF, but that’s not going to happen until the rest of the Dems are flushed from the Senate and we get a reasonable president.
…Before you fly away.
[Update a while later]
Following the lead of CAIR, as head of the Council of American-Simbergic Relations (CASR), I have just issued myself the following memo:
Special recommendations for Simbergic men who, as part of their quaint and colorful cultural tradition, are required to wear pants in public:
* If you are selected for secondary screening after you go through the metal detector and it does not go off, and “sss” is not written on your boarding pass, ask the TSA officer if the reason you are being selected is because of your trousers, and specifically your skivvies.
* In this situation, you may be asked to submit to a pat-down or to go through a full body scanner. If you are selected for the scanner, you may ask to go through a pat-down instead.
* Before you are patted down, you should remind the TSA officer that they are only supposed to pat down the area in question, in this scenario, the groinal region. They SHOULD NOT subject you to a full-body or partial-body pat-down.
* You may ask to be taken to a private room for the pat-down procedure of said trouser snake, and have it performed by a smokin’ hot woman. You may also ask for extra time, and cigarettes afterwards, if you smoke.
* If there is no woman available, or if she is insufficiently pulchritudinous and compliant with your special pat-down needs, instead of the pat-down, you can always request to pat down yourself, particularly the pelvic area, and have the officers perform a chemical swipe of your hands.
The latter won’t be a major imposition on me, because I already pat down my
junkawesome and monstrous instrument of female pleasurin’ several times a day (only in the interests of security, of course), though I usually don’t have anyone to perform the requisite chemical swipe afterwards, so that will be a government-subsidized bonus for me. I am a vaguely semitic appearing person, and I am always very suspicious of me, as are most people who meet me, with good reason. I never know what I may have in my pants.