Monday, November 22, 2010

Cranky News Digest

Blood pressure rising as a result of reading the news:

Body scan or aggressive and insensitive pat down? Well, it's been almost ten years since 911 and we're still idiots when it comes to airport security. Given a choice, I much prefer the Israeli trained agent that looks at you in the eye and asks smart questions. I understand the volume of fliers in this country makes this wish of mine utopian, but the TSA needs to admit they are a disaster. Traveling to and from Israel this summer, no one lay a hand or a scanner on me. I didn't have to take my shoes off. I just had to answer a bunch of questions in a process that was actually faster and less annoying than any gauntlet I've ever went through stateside. Many of the questions were personal. I wonder if Americans, with their concern for privacy, and their sensitivity for political correctness, are willing to subject themselves to this kind of human intrusion. Done correctly, absolutely everyone gets profiled, not just the usual brown and turbaned suspects. I can tell you, it is much more polite, much less humiliating and SAFER than the moronic inferno (to borrow from Martin Amis) we've had for years.
Mr. Hoffman said the administration should move away from adding more layers of security for every passenger in response to every new plot and consider an Israeli-style approach to identify passengers who pose a particular risk, based on advance intelligence, questioning travelers and watching their behavior.
“We’ve had nine years of just grafting security measures one on another,” Mr. Hoffman said. “Maybe it’s time to step back, take a hard look and look for a new approach.”
What the fuck has taken them so long? 

Drivers are incensed about the proliferation of bike lanes in Manhattan
Guess what? I'm incensed about drivers. They pollute, make noise and clog the city with traffic. This city needs to have more space for bikes and less for cars. And people who drive should grin and bear it. I've been saying this for years. Americans need to wean themselves off their love for the automobile. Manhattan should be a mostly car-free zone (except for small taxis, public transport and delivery trucks). What happens in Brooklyn I don't care, because with all due respect to my adorable friends from that borough, I don't give a shit. But Manhattan should be like Amsterdam or Berlin, where drivers don't kvetch about bikes invading their space. The nerve.

Some Noo Yawkers go to specialists to get rid of their accents. Noooo! Why? This is such a pity. I love accents. For instance, I learned today that the twang of our beloved Mayor Bloomberg is actually Bostonian. I always thought he spoke kinda funny. We don't all want to sound bland and indistinguishable from podunk, do we?  In my building there are still several people who have New York accents so rich, I feel like I'm in a movie. I don't drink coffee, but if I did, I'd drink cawfee.

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