Fuzzy Rants

Most critics of airport security have argued that security personnel must have a stake in the system in order to take their jobs seriously. They must have careers, benefits and must be accountable for their performance. The obvious way to do that is to make security personnel federal employees. So why is Bush trying to make them underpaid, non-union contract workers? The Senate is trying to pass a bill that would make airport security workers full-fledged federal employees, while the House has passed a verson that would make them sub-contractors supervised by a federal employee. Bush has said that if the Senate doesn’t come around to the House’s view, he will use his authority to implement the House plan by executive fiat.

This is a mistake. Airport security needs to be tightly controlled and highly motivated, the same way police, firefighters and air traffic controllers are. The only way to accomplish both those ends is to pay them better and invest them in the system through career ladders, benefits and professionalization.

I’ve mentioned this cartoon here before, but want to mention it again. Get Fuzzy is very good today. Good dog, indeed.

Once again, I find myself insanely jealous of librarians with card catalogs of their own. I really want one. Reeeeaaaaalllllllly. Maybe I’ll bid on this one.

I can’t believe anyone would let their kid wear an Osama bin Laden halloween costume.

A clinical trial of a new nicotine replacement lozenge shows that the lozenge is three times more effective than any other nicotine replacement therapy. This trial included one important element that most nicotine replacement therapies lack: it increased the dosage for those who smoke at least one cigarette within 30 minutes of waking. There is good evidence showing that regardless of the overall number of cigarettes a person smokes, smoking right after you get out of bed is a sign of heightened addiction. Consequently, doctors working on the lozenge trial increased the dosage for smokers in this category. Making a similar adjustment in dosage for other replacement therapies (the patch, gum, etc.) might erase the lozenge’s apparent advantage. At the very least, it is something doctors should consider when counseling patients who want to quit smoking. More about nicotine replacement therapy from Quitnet.

There’s a new update at Virtual Marginalia.

This weekend was nice. I met a friend for tea & cookies, caught up on my laundry, did some reading, did some shopping and did a lot of cooking. I cooked Great northern beans, black beans, a red wine reduction, spinach and feta pasta for Saturday’s dinner, rice with mushroom sauce for Sunday’s dinner, and veggie wraps and ham wraps for lunches this week. I think I was nesting — it was good to spend a weekend at home after so much recent traveling.

Posted on October 29th, 2001 by Katxena