In the early 1970’s I was employed by an airline at LAX. I was a “gate agent,” which simply means that I was the person who checked in passengers inside the departure area.
One day I arrived for work and surrounding the gates were walls approximately 12-feet-tall. There were three openings where a private security agency was searching carry-on bags by hand. At the gates metal detectors had been installed, and we were informed that “Air Marshalls” were available within a short phone call. This was the beginning of airport security in America.
Today, at 72 years of age, I know that the TSA, Transportations Security Administration, is ineffective and burdened with multiple rules which have little or nothing to do with security for air travelers. A few years ago, I applied for a low-paying job with the TSA. I took the test and because I am colorblind, they failed me. This was obviously a violation of the EEOC. Watching color monitors is not the only available job at our nation’s airports. This was not only illegal; it was ignorant.
I believe that the TSA is a waste of money. Sadly, it is the law. No passenger can board a commercial flight in the United States without completing a security confirmation by the TSA that they are not a danger to the passengers on every flight departing from every city in the United States.
What will happen when underpaid TSA agents decide that their menial jobs, for which they are not being paid, are unimportant, and simply refuse to come to work? Our airports would be shut down. All commercial flights would be grounded.
The truth is that Trump has begun a war he cannot win. Not only is the TSA a serious consideration, guards at our federal prisons remain unpaid workers. The secret service is unpaid. Multiple other agencies are continuing to labor for Trump’s government without pay, including the parks department. Trash is piling up in our national forests at an alarming rate. If a major forest fire occurs in our national forests, unpaid rangers will be required to protect people and the land to the best of their abilities; without pay.
This is Trump’s Shutdown, and the only reason our government remains closed is his demand for an unnecessary and costly wall.
Trump is ignorant, incompetent, unfit, and immoral. He is not an American president.
To soothe his ego and the members of his cult, he is willing to force 800,000+ men and women to go without pay. He has no compassion and has a single interest; Donald J. Trump. And his party supports him.
Time for change; this is our country, it does not belong to the Republican political party.
The Truth Lives Here
Op-ed by this “Wise Old Fart,” James Turnage
Photo courtesy of Andrew Pilloud
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