TSA’s actions will lead to more public distrust

There seems to be a strange double standard contrasting what the Transportation Security Administration is representing.

It appears passive security is being used for ground personnel while the offensive overkill is being visited on the public — it is nothing more than theater for the public. It is doubtful that the TSA or Homeland Security Department has been diligent if the San Francisco International Airport security flaws exist, which leaves them in the uncomfortable position of having to admit hypocrisy.

It is better that they are temporarily embarrassed if it leads to correcting the situation. On the other hand, it sends the wrong message to the public to punish the pilot.

The public trusts airline pilots, and it is a mistake to discredit a whistleblower. The TSA isn’t doing its job. Saying the emperor has no clothes shouldn’t be punished. Perhaps the pilot could have been more discreet, but I am siding with him at this point.

Homeland Security has spent billions on TSA security that appears to be wasted. But more important to the average citizen is what appears to be the abuse of government powers.

Richard King, Palo Alto

Schools will suffer

California’s deficit is $28 billion and the state currently spends 8 percent of the general fund paying interest on existing loans. Moody’s gives California the lowest credit rating of any state. Treasurer Bill Lockyer confirms, “Every dollar you spend on debt service is a dollar you don’t have available to educate kids.” Gov.-elect Jerry Brown threatens to drastically cut education funds, despite California is ranking as one of the worst state education systems in the nation.  

Meanwhile, the California High-Speed Rail Authority raised its construction estimate to $43 billion and spent $250 million on “planning.” Stanford economics professor Alain Enthoven, World Bank and experts estimate the actual cost of construction to be around $213 billion. The original projection of the Bay Bridge was $1.2 billion and is now $6.5 billion. Boston’s Big Dig was projected at $2.8 billion, but was completed at $22 billion.

Forebodingly, the Big Dig’s contractor, Parsons Brinckerhoff, is now running the high-speed rail’s construction.

Simple analogy: If your home is foreclosed and you can’t pay to educate your children, is it prudent to take out a new loan for a Porsche?

Mike Brown, Burlingame

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