Showing posts with label transportation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label transportation. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

No one needs to fly this badly

That's one question answered, a million or so to go.

OK. So . . . huh?

It's like this: Let me tell you about what I want to know and what I just found out. Actually, come to think of it, let me do a 180 on my approach here. That first thing about going over what I want to know isn
't going to work.

To avoid taking up
waaaaaaay too much of your time -- and likely the rest of my life -- I'll just tell you the question of mine just answered. Here it is:
Q. "What happens to all of the most brain-dead and morally retarded non-political, non-incarcerated pieces of human excrement in the United States of America?"

A. They all become airport screeners for the TSA.
Before today, I only suspected this was the case. Then The Daily provided the last bit of evidence that erased all doubt.
Four months after the Transportation Security Administration launched a program to help airline passengers with disabilities, a New York family found out just how little “TSA Cares.”

Traveling from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Florida, the Frank family was yanked out of line as it boarded the plane in a dispute over how 7-year-old Dina had been screened. The little girl, who has cerebral palsy, walks with crutches and leg braces.

“They make our lives completely difficult,” said her father, Dr. Joshua Frank, a Long Island pediatrician. “She’s not a threat to national security.”

Flying is always difficult for the family, but this week was particularly dreadful, Frank and his wife, Marcy, said.

With her crutches and orthotics, Dina cannot walk through metal detectors and instead is patted down by security agents. The girl, who is also developmentally disabled, is often frightened by the procedure, her father said.

Marcy Frank usually asks the agents to introduce themselves to her daughter, but those on duty on Monday were exceptionally aggressive, Joshua Frank said, and he began to videotape them with his iPhone.

“And the woman started screaming at me and cursing me and threatening me,” he said.

Eventually, a supervisor decided it was sufficient to inspect Dina’s crutches and allowed the family to leave for the gate.

They were there for an hour before the agents reappeared with a manager to tell them that proper protocol had not been followed, and that Dina had to be screened after all, the Franks said. After initially offering to pat her down at the gate, they insisted she return to the security area, Joshua Frank said.

enough bad things about those who engage in cruelty toward the old, the sick, the disabled . . . and children.

When you have someone engaging in cavalier cruelty toward a disabled child, you have someone who deserves a beating. Right there. Right now.

When you have someone doing that in the name of the federal government -- and when putting a decisive end to the rough manhandling of your child means you would go to a federal prison for a long time -- you have a situation that calls for administering the beating to the government that gives such goons such unfettered authority.

that day comes -- if that day comes -- when our authoritarian security state shapes up and flies right, I don't think you need to fly that badly. Better to walk (or row . . . or swim) than to submit to being treated as if you were what those goonish TSA agents are.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Plaquemine ferry, then and now

Here's how Louisianians rolled on the river -- the mighty Mississippi between Plaquemine Point on the east bank and the town of Plaquemine on the west -- back in 1982 on the ferryboat.

Here's how we did it a couple of weeks ago.

Back in 1982.

Today, in 2011.Things change, but not always by that much.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The river and me, 1982

When you're a poor college student, the Mississippi River and a ferryboat can be an excellent -- and free -- way to kill some time on a summer weekend.

What you see here is the result of some productive time-killing one afternoon in, I am pretty sure, 1982. All I needed was to load myself and my secondhand Canon TX into my secondhand 1976 Chevy Vega (don't get me started) and drive down to the ferry landing on Plaquemine Point, south of Baton Rouge.

I'm relatively sure I was aiming to get some feature photos for The Summer Reveille at LSU. I was editorial assistant that summer semester of '82, my photojournalism class a couple of semesters before was still fresh in my mind . . . and it was a great way to kill time.


I honestly can't remember whether any of these photos got into the paper. I absolutely do know I hadn't taken a good look at those negatives for 28 years, not until I scanned them just now.

AND THE PERSON who left a comment yesterday on this post asking for more old Baton Rouge photos on the blog? Here you go.

More will follow.

For the record, I love this shot (left) of crewmen on the ferry's bridge scoping out a fine specimen of a female passenger. (What the hell do you think I was doing at the time?)

I, however, had a 35-millimeter camera and the excuse of taking feature photos for the LSU student newspaper.

That camera. I bought it the year before from City Pawn Shop downtown on Riverside Mall, which we all still called Third Street -- and which it officially is once again -- and I carried it just about everywhere.

What funded the purchase were the proceeds from the first freelance story I ever sold -- to the local paper. It was a history piece about the life and death decades earlier of Baton Rouge's first educational radio station, WLSU.

The story ran over two editions of the State-Times' and Morning Advocate's Friday entertainment magazine, Fun. I got $100, and then I got that camera.

I still have it today, and I still use it when I get a wild hair to shoot with actual film.

ANYWAY, what you see here -- untouched for almost three decades -- is a day in the life of the Plaquemine ferry, which ran and still runs between St. Gabriel on the east side of Iberville Parish and Plaquemine on the west. Look. It even has a Twitter feed.

Back in the day, I remember that election results from the eastern half of Iberville always came in last because you had to wait on the ferryboat.

TO TELL you the truth, more people should have to wait on the ferryboat -- even if you don't have a river to get across. You can't get in a hurry on a ferry; it comes when it comes, and you get to the other side when you get to the other side.

Ferryboats get you out of your aluminum-and-steel cocoon. They make it hard not to meet your neighbor . . . at least if you're both going the same way. And they put you in touch with the grandeur of nature.

In the case of the Plaquemine ferry, that would be the mighty, mile-wide Mississippi River.

The Plaquemine ferry: It was a damn fine way to kill a Saturday afternoon.

Bet it still is, too.