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September 21, 2007

Logan Airport Refuses to Honor The Threat

This woman should be dead:

BOSTON - An MIT student wearing what turned out to be a fake bomb was arrested at gunpoint Friday at Logan International Airport and later claimed it was artwork, officials said.

Star Simpson, 19, had a computer circuit board and wiring in plain view over a black hooded sweat shirt she was wearing, said State Police Maj. Scott Pare, the commanding officer at the airport.

The port authority did the right thing, and the troopers failed to properly honor the threat:
A Massachusetts Port Authority staffer manning an information booth in the terminal became suspicious when Simpson — wearing the device — approached to ask about an incoming flight, Pare said. Simpson then walked outside, and the information booth attendant notified a nearby trooper.

The trooper, joined by others with submachine guns, confronted her at a traffic island in front of the terminal.

"She was immediately told to stop, to raise her hands and not to make any movement, so we could observe all her movements to see if she was trying to trip any type of device," Pare said. "Had she not followed the protocol, we might have used deadly force."

The emphasis is mine. Notice he said, "might have used deadly force." Might have? My question is, why didn't they? Had that been a jihadist determined to enter paradise by killing the infidels at the airport, as soon as he saw the troopers, that bomb would have detonated. Game over. That's their goal. Walk into a crowded place, find the infidels (bonus points for law enforcement or military) and blow yourself up.

Those troopers should have shot her, made sure she was dead, and immediately locked down the airport. The media should spend the next two weeks discussing it over and over again. Get the message out ... If you show up in a US airport with a bomb strapped to your back, you will be shot on-site. Period.

Honor The Threat.

UPDATE: WizBang! Blog has weighed in on the issue, with a link to MoonBattery, and has even highlighted the same arguments that made it into the comments here. Cassy looks at this as just another "Attention Whore" looking for attention, but does pose the question of "what if" Star had been a true Jihadist:

It isn't fear mongering for police to take something like this seriously. She may well have simply been a stupid kid, but what is the alternative? What if she hadn't just been some stupid kid and really did have a bomb, but police just looked at her and thought, "Oh, that's just some kid being stupid?"


September 20, 2007

Next Time Show Up Earlier

I love my new section on whiners. The Internet is full of them, and this mental giant
complaining about missing an international flight to South Africa
is a good one.

The post is your typical TSA/FAA/Airline bitch-fest. ... Lines at security are too long ... The TSA hires nazi goons ... The government took away my freedom after 9/11 ... The police are evil ... The only thing missing from this morons idiotic screed is a rant blaming the whole event on George Bush.

The first thing the airlines tell you is that if you are flying International, show up at least 2 hours before you are scheduled to depart. At least 2 hours. Just in-case your reading comprehension is poor, that means that 2 hours should be the minimum time to show up. For me, that means that I show up 3 hours before departure. I'd rather sit at the gate for a couple hours completely relaxed, knowing I will make my flight than stand in line at security wondering if I will make it. I fly a lot, and even showing up 3 hours ahead, I have had some close calls.

This guy shows up less than an hour before his flight is scheduled to leave. Then he tries to skip ahead in line. The security detail isn't having any of it, and very strongly tell Mr. Dumbass to get back in line. He persists, and even tries to go through the First Class VIP security line (wish we had one in Austin). When he tries to bust the First Class line, he encounters the Harbor Police:

"Whats the problem?" the officers ask me.

At this point, we are in the middle of the terminal. Before I respond, the officers and I walk off to the side near the check-in counters.

"There is no problem officers. I am going to miss my flight, I have an international connection to make and she will not let me go through. I have been here with plenty of time to make it through security, but the line is not moving."

That's a lie. You showed up late, moron. Instead of admitting he screwed up, he lies and tries to act as if the security agents are the ones that screwed up. Wrong! The cops send him back to Delta, who tell him the truth: He's going to miss his flight. Senor ignoramus heads back over to the cops who ask for his papers:

The officers then ask me, "What did they tell you?"

"That I'm not going to make it" I say.

"Let me have your passport", demands one officer.

"What do you need it for?" (I've seen this movie before, I've done nothing wrong, but you know ... abuse of power, police state, post 9/11 age, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc)

"So that I can know who I am talking to", he says.

"Ok, here you go", as I hand him my passport.

Way to stick it to the man there pal. You gotta love that liberal screed he threw in there. Those eeeevil cops ... why would they need to see someone's passport if they are flying to South Africa? Jerks. If a cop asks you for your ID, law says you have to give it up. It's nothing new, it's been that way for years, and when some idiot is causing a scene at the airport, it's only prudent for them to ask.

More after the jump, including an update.

The guy eventually complains and argues his way to his gate. Meanwhile, the people he was standing behind make it through at the same time he does. HA! What an idiot! He gained nothing with the whole escapade with the TSA, Harbor Police, Delta agents .. nada ... zip ... zero. End result? He misses the flight. He showed up late to the airport, and missed the flight. Remember that.

Delta tries to be nice to the guy and books him on the next flight to Atlanta, and tell him to hurry over to the gate. Instead of doing that, he goes back to security and tries to pick a fight with the cops again. They don't take the bait, but they get a few jabs in regardless, and he spends the next few minutes bitching and moaning to anyone that will listen about how unfairly he was treated. Right ... you showed up late to the airport, made a scene, and they are the assholes. Sure, pal.

Delta is still trying to be nice to the guy, and they book him on the same flights the next day so he can get to South Africa where his luggage is en-route to. Then he decides that he just doesn't want to go (imagine a spoiled little child taking his ball and going home) and spends several more paragraphs bitching and whining to Delta demanding his money back. He gets most of it back, minus the $200 penalty and $25 oversize baggage fee, which he bitches about ... of course.

Anyone who flies often enough knows how to avoid this situation entirely. SHOW UP EARLY! If he had shown up as early as ALL airlines recommend, I wouldn't have to read this crap, and he could have gone to Africa to save the rain-forest or whatever it was he wanted to do. Whatever it was, it must not have been that important, considering he decided to pout and never take the trip.

UPDATE: One simple google query, and I confirmed that the Delta ticket counter in San Diego opens at 4:45am, and the San Diego airport suggests arriving at the airport three hours early for an international flight. Oh, and if the idea of checking in at 4:45am sounds too rough, you can check in the night before, get your boarding pass, and go straight through security the next day. Or use the power of the internet! And if you insist on showing up at the last minute, you can at least check the projected wait times.

September 19, 2007

Whiny Consumerist Plays the Handicapped Card

Yet another whiner at Consumerist is complaining that a company followed the terms of an agreement. This time it's a wheelchair bound guy named pat who was charged $550 for a toilet repair.

Basically, this guy calls up a plumber and asks for a quote on a toilet repair. The plumber refuses to give a quote sight-unseen, but rather sends out a plumber to give a quote. Plumber shows up and gives a quote of $500, reportedly without looking at the toilet first.

Then the whiner plays the handicapped card:

Well, I am physically handicapped. I had a spinal cord tumor removed from my back, and it has really screwed up my G.I. system, so this is one reason the toilet was clogged, plus, I depended on that toilet to work. I was desperate. I reluctantly agreed thinking that this job was going to be a toughie ...

There's your first mistake pal. You agreed to pay $500 for a toilet repair. You could have a new toilet installed for less than that. You should have called around first, and maybe got a couple of quotes. Ever see that auto insurance commercial? ... Here's the money shot:
... but 15 minutes later, they were done. They told me the problem was a disposable razor head lodged in the trap. Well great, then since it was so easy, they would only charge me about $100, which was fine with me, I was happy, but no, they wanted $550. Well, under duress, I paid

Ahh ... There's the rub. He unspokenly agreed to pay $500 only if it was a really tough job. Once they finished in 15 minutes after fishing out a disposable razor (and I would assume some more nefarious things that provided the actual clog) this whiny asshole's logic told him that he should only have to pay $100. When was that part of the deal? According to his statement, he agreed to pay $500 for the repair. As far as I can tell, his only room to argue is that they asked for $550, not the agreed $500. How did he come up with the $100 figure?

There is this old joke about an elevator repair man. This elevator repair man goes to his boss and asks for a raise. The raise is denied, so he quits. A couple weeks later, he gets a call from his old boss asking for emergency help with a broken elevator. The man agrees, but only if the ex-boss pays $1000 for the repair. Desperate, the boss agrees. The man shows up, puts his ear on the wall, listens a bit, hits the wall, and the elevator starts working again. On his way out the door, he gives the old boss an invoice with a single line item "Elevator Repair - $1000" and asks him to sign it so he can get a check before he leaves. The boss refuses ... "All you did was hit the wall. I'm not paying $1000 for that." The man thinks about it, and takes back the invoice. He quickly makes some writing on it, and hands it back. This time with two line items: "Hitting the wall - $1", "Knowing where to hit the wall to repair the elevator - $999."

The point of telling the joke is that the man agreed to pay $500 to repair the toilet because he was unable to do so himself. Whether or not the job was easy for a properly trained plumber who is not disabled is irrelevant. The man agreed to $500, and then reneged to $100 after the job was done.

That said, I think it's a pretty scummy thing to charge $500 for a toilet repair. I would have smelled a rat the moment that high of a figure was thrown out. I had a water softener installed for almost half that price, and would have known immediately I was being ripped off.

If the story had been that some asshole plumber came over and quoted $500 to remove a razor from a toilet, and was laughed out of the house, I would have much more sympathy for the guy. If the initial quote was $100, and then 15 minutes of work later raised to $500, I'd say he should refer the case to the DA. Considering the fact that he agreed to $500 in the first place, I don't have much sympathy for him, although it is a scummy thing to do. Especially to a handicapped guy.

September 17, 2007

UPDATED: Whiny Sears Customer Gets Great Service

I'm pretty much fed up with reading about whiny, ignorant morons on Consumerist.com, so I've added a new category: Whiners.

Today's case in point: A whiny Sears customer whines to Consumerist:

I called to have the refrigerator repaired and on August 28th a repairman came to my apartment. After examining the refrigerator he determined the part that was needed had to be ordered. He said that it was Sears's policy for the delivery of the part to take ten business days.
Sounds fair to me ... what's the rub?
At that point I informed the repairman that my wife and daughter are insulin dependent and their insulin requires refrigeration.
Ahh ... now I see. You're wife and child are insulin dependent diabetics, which makes this guy an asshole now ... I get it ... No ... I don't get it. I am an insulin dependent diabetic, and if I was told my refrigerator needed parts for repair that were guaranteed in 10 days, I would be glad. I would be glad that I had a guarantee that it would -*only*- be ten days, and I would sort out my meds myself. In fact, at the point that my refrigerator is broken to the point of calling for repair, I would have already sorted out my insulin, and it would be a moot point. Not for this asshole:
I asked the repairman to use my phone to call his office to inform his superiors that my wife and daughter are diabetic and their medicine requires refrigeration at all times. The repairman refused to call his office on my phone. He repeated that it was Sears' policy that it would take ten days and picked up his bag and left my apartment.
Why is it the repairman's responsibility to sort out their medication? Where in the contract does is say that Sears guarantee's 24/7/365 access to refrigeration? Basically what the repairman is trying to politely tell this guy is that his piece is done ... you want to sort out something else with Sears, leave me out of it. I'm done. That's not good enough for this ignoramus, so he persists:
I followed the repairman to the elevator and asked him to give me his name. He refused. The repairman said I should call the office and state that a repairman had been to my apartment. While demanding that he at least tell me his name I held the elevator door open to prevent the repairman from leaving. The repairman exited the elevator and walked towards our staircase. I asked him again in the hallway what is your name. He finally muttered Brian. I said what is your full name and he replied "JESUS CHRIST!"
At what point is the repairman allowed to start using force to get away from this psycho? Look dumbass, it's not the repairman's fault your wife and daughter are diabetic, and it's not Sears' responsibility to sort out their meds. That is -*you're*- job as a father, and you should see to it. Leave the repairman the f@#$k alone, and take care of your family.

You would think that at some point self-preservation of one's self and family would kick in, but these types of people think that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter. It's like Denis Leary said ... "Life's tough ... get a f@#$ing helmet."

UPDATE: Not satisfied with just whining, Consumerist has posted the email address of the Sears CEO Aylwin B. Lewis. That'll learn 'em!

September 6, 2007

Only In America - Fanboys Mad @ Apple Over iPhone Price Drop

Slanted "Consumer" website Consumerist has an article up from a self-proclaimed "Apple FanBoy" whining about the recent $200 price drop in the Apple iPhone.

Only in America do people complain when a company drops the price of an extremely desirable new gadget 33%. You would think that people would be glad to see the price drop, hoping it further increases sales, increasing the chances of success for the new gadget. No ... The whiny Apple fans that relish the fact that Apple's products are both trendy and expensive are now hurt that more of the unwashed masses can afford it.

Boo f@#$ing hoo ... Whiny f@#$ing maggots.