We the people - should decide... but don't

Before bureaucracy, there was the implementation of ideas.

Me and My Solutions

Idea One:  Below is the second letter I sent to the TSA after 9/11.

After 9/11, things changed drastically for the way we travel, especially through airports. When the TSA hired 75,000 air marshals, I knew right away we would never be able to sustain the cost.  As you may remember, there were many issues with air marshals being overworked, flying too much, and passengers recognizing them, along with several other problems.

So when I heard the TSA laid off about 40,000 of the air marshals I knew I had to pass my idea on to the TSA. I did get a response back from them that I didn’t think justified not trying my idea.

Now that there has been another attempt to take down an airliner, I think I should try again to put forth my idea, which I believe would be the only feasible way to keep costs within reason, and give the remaining air marshals the help they need.

My idea, simply put, is for willing police officers, military, and security officers to become air marshal helpers. 

These individuals would pay for a TSA-sponsored course on their own dime to become an undercover air marshal helper. In the course sponsored by the TSA,  these “persons already with a security clearance”, would learn how to spot people in airports, to recognize problems during flights, and to handle situations. Also these people are not likely to get bored because they don’t do it every day, and are incentivized by the free travel. This same format would also transfer to buses, trains and ferries.

They would then travel for free or at a greatly-reduced cost. The officers would log onto a secure site to tell of their travel plans, where only the TSA would know what coverage is on what flight. Certain flights would be denied or the officers would be rerouted if the flight they wanted had coverage already.  The airlines would have to absorb the cost of the helpers, but that wouldn’t make an impact on their bottom line.

 I received an official response from the TSA back when I sent this idea in.  They made it clear that I didn’t understand the training these marshals went through.  I made it clear that 40,000 of the original 75,000 were laid-off. So how good is our coverage now?  And more than a decade later we are still paying a high sum for a very low risk.

Idea Two: Below is the idea I sent to the VISA Company in 1990

Basically, a bunch of thugs mugged and killed this woman in Rochester, NY,  and while they left her to die in her car, the thugs proceeded to the local Dick’s Sporting Goods and helped themselves to $1500 worth of merchandise on the woman’s credit card. Shocking, I know.

I sent a letter to VISA detailing my idea about the use of credit cards. In my outline I said that we should use a 4-digit pin code anytime we use a credit card. If you are at a retailer, you would input your pin number right there at the counter. If you are shopping by phone, you would push it in on your own phone, which would be fitted with secure software.

Note: Remember, this was long before debit cards, pin numbers, smart phones, and long before internet was so widely used as it is today. I got a response from VISA , and after signing forms stating that they would not have to pay me for my idea, I was told that it would cost too much in hardware and software to outfit every retail store to make it cost effective. Also I found out that they really don’t care that much because they get paid either way. Either the issuing bank or the retailer that accepted the card pays when the stolen card is used.

Thoughts: A little all over the place

I believe, we should hold people accountable for their actions. We cannot rid the world of sin and evil people. Since the beginning of time there have been different classes of citizens in all civilizations and there always will be, without exception. I believe there should be double sentences for anyone in a position of authority that commits a felony or serious crime against the very people they are there to protect. These people would include police, firemen, priests and clergymen (people we teach kids to look up to) and also elected politicians and business CEOs responsible for other people’s money. I think that Americans should lose certain rights after committing certain crimes.

Roundabouts – using roundabouts instead of traffic lights has certain advantages.   If there is an accident, it would be a fender bender from cars going in basically the same direction and not a t-bone accident from people running red lights. There is no utility cost for powering traffic lights or cost to put the lights up. Traffic is always moving, so you’re not stuck at a stupid light at 3:00am waiting for the timer to run out.  You just have to know and follow the rule that “People in the circle have the right of way.”

Traffic lights - Different flash speed, shapes or lines through them to help color-blind people, so they don’t get confused. I am color-blind, and this would be a great help.

Capital Punishment   - Are you for it or not? To me it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that hard-core criminals and some others never get into normal society again. When certain hard-core felons get out of prison, they can go into very productive but closed communities where people can visit, but the felons cannot ever leave.

Health care - system and pricing should be based on healthy living and preventative care  

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Latest comments

03.02 | 18:23

Sorry, I don't have it. But from what I understand you must give credit to him. Not sure

03.02 | 12:05

I am writing a book and would like to include Mr. Schoonover's letter in it but need permission, which I hope you/he will grant. Thank you very much.

13.03 | 11:52

Bill Schoonover wrote this letter April 3, 2013 and it still applies today.
Is there any wonder why both political parties are scared! Trump 2016.

20.01 | 16:27

I would suggest you and everyone reads "Free to Choose" from Milton Friedman

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