Have you been seeing the TV ads for the Charl-Alb Airport stressing stressing stressing "security?" The Help Wanted ads in the Daily Progress are a bit more instructive than those TV ads. The ad below appeared Wednesday the 14th:
"Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport - Full time Airport Community Service Officer. Fulltime, assigned to 1 of 3 shifts: 6 am-2 pm, 2 pm-10 pm, 10 pm-6 am with two permanent days off. Starting pay range $8.50/hour.
"Performs routine security patrols of airport to protect property & equipment from unauthorized use or theft. Controls movement of personnel and vehicles within the facility & enforces security access control system to identify and control all employees, visitors, & vehicles.
"Counts overnight vehicles in the parking lots & prepares shift checklists. Assists Public Safety Officers with airport operations. May assist with snow removal.
"Requirements include good powers of memory & observation, ability to operate motor vehicles, good physical condition & ability to act calmly & quickly in emergencies & other critical situations,
"High school education or GED preferred. Successful applicant must supply copy of driving record prior to hire."
That is our vaunted airport security. $8.50 an hour entry-level employees. It matters not at all if the head of the security department is an over-qualified James Bond at $150,000 a year, backed up by $3 million in state-of-the-art hardware. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and our airport chain of security relies on unskilled, untrained, entry-level help. So do all other US airports. Ads like that appear all over the country.
Wednesday morning the vile Sen. Phil Gramm was on CNBC defending this as entirely adequate for the nation's airport security. He raised hell about people wanting the government to take over security functions at airports. He sank to a level of rabble ignorance seldom heard beyond Rush Limbaugh, calling federalizing airport security a Democrat plot to create big government.
Nice to be reminded who the enemies are.
Rey Barry (electronic mail, November 14, 2001).