Tuesday, June 28, 2011

TSA, Don’t mess with Texas

The Texas house of Representatives has taken the initiative before any other State to protect travelers from being groped by the TSA. Below is a picture of a cute baby being harassed demonstrating just how ludicrous it has become.

TSA images were saved and were recognizable. This could have dire consequences.

tsa baby grope

I dislike flying more and more so it is a good thing that we can drive. Discover card is giving a 5% discount on Gas, hotels, movies and theme parks in July.

An elderly woman was asked to remove her adult diaper during a TSA search. Jean Weber filed a complaint with federal authorities over how her 95 year old mother in a wheelchair, was treated at Northwest Florida Regional Airport. When Jean started to cry the Homeland Security Rep said that crying was “suspicious behavior” and triggers an alarm. She was detained and extensively searched while trying to board a plane to fly to Michigan to be with family members during the final stages of her battle with leukemia.

Her mother, who was in a wheelchair, was asked to remove an adult diaper in order to complete a pat-down search as reported on newsherald.com

Fox26News said that a TSA spokeswoman said that “the agent acted according to procedure”.

Pity that TSA does not display any common sense and thankfully! … Governor Rick Perry does. He is the first to stand up for our rights. His bill to criminalize invasive TSA pat downs despite government threats to shut down the State's airports if the bill passes. The proposed law, sponsored by GOP state Rep. David Simpson and state Sen. Dan Patrick, would make it a felony for security officials to pat down a person's private areas without probable cause.

dont-mess-with-texas1I am not surprised to hear that TSA alarms are triggered by wheelchairs because I experienced this when I was temperately in one myself at NYC airport. Another time I was chosen for a search because I was the only Anglo, harmless looking person in the line at Heathrow. I believe that the security person thought that I was the only person that they were not afraid to search. So TSA feels safer doing the opposite of what their job requires. See my criticism of the TSA pat downs.

EL AL Airline advertise that they are the “most secure airline in the sky to fly to 48 destinations worldwide”.  They are the most targeted airline by more enemies than any other country, yet they don’t target the elderly and toddlers. El Al does not perform invasive searches because they have sniffing dogs and question suspicious travelers. If we give up liberty at the airport …. Where next? Will we be groped at baseball games, shopping malls, cinemas and schools?

A quote by founding father Jefferson is pertinent: “he who is willing to give up his liberty for security, deserves neither”, it is a violation of civil rights if there is no probable cause for search.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Nothing can stop me from flying Lufthansa

The best airport lounge in the world that I have visited is the Lufthansa First class Lounge in Frankfurt. LufthansaI could easily spend a week there in the Spa and eating the exquisite food. HEAVEN mmm…

Lufthansa has great fares to Europe and beyond this summer. Only $348 each way : - USA to Madrid via Germany. You can fly Business Class for as low as $999* (One-way based on round-trip purchase).

Sure I’m afraid of the illness in Germany but these days, illnesses spread globally FAST. E. coli is a common type of bacteria that can make you very sick. I had diarrhea and vomiting at the Marriott hotel in Guam from expired mayonnaise. All I had to eat that day was a fries with mayonnaise and I don’t think that the potatoes chips could have caused it.

The most important thing to beware of when traveling is to not become ill. I lived in Mexico for many years but I never contracted Montezuma's revenge (the colloquial term for traveler's diarrhea contracted by tourists) I always drank bottled water in restaurants and I distilled water at home.


  • Make sure that the waiter opens your drink bottles in front of you so you can hear the pop and know that it has not been filled with tap water.
  • NO ice (It’s just frozen parasites)
  • Don’t eat salad only cooked food.
  • No fruit that you have not opened.(kitchen staff may not have washed hands)

Germany has now admitted that the E.coli outbreak was caused by bean sprouts, after pointing a finger at Spanish cucumber. CDC Investigators have determined that locally grown vegetable sprouts are the cause of the European E. coli Shiga toxin outbreak that has killed 31 people, causing kidney failure.Airbus A380The CDC is monitoring a large outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O104:H4 (STEC O104:H4) infections ongoing in Germany. The responsible strain shares virulence characteristics with enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC). As of June 6, 2011, case counts confirmed by Germany’s Robert Koch Institute* include 642 patients with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) – a type of kidney failure that is associated with E.coli or STEC infections.

An interesting Corporation has developed a way to capture the molecular diagnostics. CEO Jonathon Rothberg said that, “Life Technologies has a new machine that decoded the deadly strain. He said that the strain in Germany was a superbug with 14 different genes that gave it resistance to drugs. Life has developed a custom test (assay) to accurately detect the E. coli bacterium that has affected more than 2,100 worldwide. Shipments of the TaqMan® E. coli 0104 Detection Kit to test foods is a "A qPCR-based assay test is the most accurate method to detect harmful food borne pathogens. A positive result indicates the presence of that particular strain's DNA in the food sample.

I’m going to redeem Elite miles for an upgraded flight award from the Miles & More  Star Alliance airline program.