Letters from the Issue of , 2002

TSA at MIA, KMAN's screed, and new rules for morons

Open That Laptop!

Nobody boards the plane till we've scrolled through every last file: After reading the delightful "Your Safety, Their Punch Line" by Adam Baum (December 16), allow me to add a few comments: As an aviation consultant, I travel thousands of miles every year to international destinations, hired by foreign agencies and airlines requesting my services and expertise. I used to teach ground security, but after the 9/11 attacks, all that has been funneled, as we all know, into the hands of our beloved Transportation Security Administration.

Quite frankly, the TSA's management problems at Miami International Airport, as portrayed in the article, are not a passenger's main concern, but how effectively the agency performs certainly is. And unfortunately this primary area still has a long way to go before it can be called "effective."

When I check in at MIA's ticket counters, I am disgusted to see how ridiculous the entire security process is: bags being opened in the main concourses, underwear scattered all over, employees yelling out passengers' names, no this, no that...

The countless times they ask to see your ticket, the endless lines at the sterile-area screening checkpoint. And then we have the striptease show every passenger is forced to perform: "Please take off your shoes. Now take off your belt. Oh, and your watch too. And if you have a laptop computer, dig it from the bottom of your carefully packed carry-on and open it up, just to make sure it is in fact a laptop and not some new version of the Enigma machine. Wait, sir, is this a bottle of wine? Sorry, but for security reasons no glass containers are allowed onboard. So sir, this bottle of wine stays here. However, sir, during the in-flight dinner service, small bottles of wine are offered as a courtesy, so you can break one and threaten the poor flight attendant with it and then demand an explanation from the captain as to how stupid, ineffective, and ridiculous a security task force we are."

And by the way, the TSA hates to admit this, but all catering trucks come from kitchens outside the airport perimeter and drive through the checkpoints without their trolleys and carts being checked. "Yes, sir, your six-foot frame could easily fit inside one of these meal trolleys, and in fact they can be packed with more weaponry than fits in a SWAT team truck.

"That's right, sir, we call this our front-window disguise. You see, we at TSA want to make you believe we are actually doing our job. So with this in mind, sir, have a safe flight."

Enough said.

Eddie Miceli

Miami Lakes

Welcome to Our Nightmare

TSA at MIA is DOA: I just wanted to congratulate Adam Baum on his amazing article "Your Safety, Their Punchline." I'm with him 110 percent on everything he wrote!

I had the pleasure of talking to staff writer Tristram Korten last month concerning several issues at TSA/MIA. His column on the subject ("Rules Are for Fools," December 16) was also very good.

Here's wishing good luck to all of us who work at the hellhole that is the TSA at MIA.

Name Withheld by Request


Meet the Neighbors

They would be downtown's free-range crackheads, hookers, and bums: Regarding Forrest Norman's "You Ho Who You Are" (December 16), I experience the Ho Ho Ho zone everyday, and I ain't talking about a winter wonderland, thanks to the lovely, well-paid slackers in the housing department at downtown's International University of Art and Design (a.k.a. International Fine Arts College) and the lackluster Miami Police Department, whose officers manage to pull over my classmates for outrageously minor traffic violations yet somehow can't seem to get a grip on the overabundance of crackheads, hookers, and the demons who hopped over our ten-foot-tall gate into our very illuminated parking lot and broke into my roomie's car!

I come across so many bums I feel like I'm running from zombies in a movie, but at least the living dead wanted something useful. I mean, really, what can you do with a dime these days?

To make matters worse, the school charges us as if we're living in a brand-new condo with an ocean view! Move out, you say? We'd be breaking the lease and have to pay the housing costs for the full quarter! Shame on the Miami police; your good work ain't good enough! I'd also like to wish eternal shame on greedy private colleges!

Jaron Wallace


Can Death Be Convenient?

Apparently so, if you're associated with Pat Tornillo: I read Rebecca Wakefield's "METRO" story about the United Teachers of Dade elections ("Hot for Teachers," December 9), and I wanted to comment that I did not find it "convenient" that my dad died.

David Sisselman


Editor's note: Rebecca Wakefield's article did not state or imply that David Sisselman found his father's death to be convenient. The article, which did not mention David Sisselman, described a lawsuit that alleged former UTD chief financial officer James Angleton, Jr., "gave the Miami Herald a compelling story about how sickly Murray Sisselman had confessed [ex-UTD president Pat] Tornillo's crimes, picturesquely, over a meal at the Rascal House. Conveniently, Sisselman was dead and couldn't confirm this version of events." If Murray Sisselman's death was "convenient" for anyone, it was Angleton.

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