$300 million airport security system didn’t spot cross-dressing dude wandering across the runways!


Guess you never could tell if the Invisible Man was cross-dressing or not

A cross-dressing man was found wandering the runways at the Newark, N.J., Airport, raising questions about how effective the airport’s new security system is.

Siyah Bryant, 24, of Jersey City, allegedly climbed a fence onto the airport’s tarmac at about 4:20 a.m. Wednesday…He was eventually caught, taken into custody and charged with trespassing.

During questioning, Bryant, who was wearing a pair of women’s pants and a sweater, told police that he had been on a date with another man when their car broke down. Bryant’s date called another friend, at which point Bryant said he “felt uncomfortable” and left on foot, the report said.

He then scaled the security fence at the airport, walked across two runways and into a terminal, where he was confronted by a United Airlines worker, who called the police, officials said.

The most concerning part of the case is that Newark’s new Perimeter Intrusion Detection System, which employs cameras and a sensor-lined fence, did not detect Bryant’s presence at the airport, the report said. The system, which is also being used at New York City’s JFK and LaGuardia airports and in Teterboro, cost more than $300 million to install.

Your tax dollars at work.

Pope welcomes Atheists in his Christmas call of peace

Pope Francis used the first Christmas address of his papacy on Wednesday to make a broad call for global peace and an end to violence in Syria and parts of Africa, urging atheists and followers of other religions to join together in this common cause…

“True peace is not a balance of opposing forces,” Francis said. “It is not a lovely facade which conceals conflicts and divisions. Peace calls for daily commitment…”

Francis has regularly attracted huge crowds in Vatican City, and almost overnight he has emerged as a major figure on the global stage, surprising many Catholics with his nonjudgmental tone on issues like homosexuality and divorce, and his focus on the plight of the world’s poor. He has also been unpredictable, telephoning ordinary people who have written him letters, embracing a badly disfigured man at St. Peter’s and making unannounced visits in Rome.

He proved unpredictable again on Wednesday, when he went off script to include atheists in his call for peace, rare for a Catholic leader.

“I invite even nonbelievers to desire peace,” he said. “Let us all unite, either with prayer or with desire, but everyone, for peace…”

A bit disingenuous. I find more often that atheists and particularly those who’ve moved on to studies in science, humanist philosophy, secular views on progress – generally not only support efforts for peace; but, work at it.

Francis broadened his peace message to call for an end to violence in Syria, as well as in the Central African Republic, where Christians and Muslims have clashed in a country that he described as “often forgotten and overlooked.” He cited the rising tensions and violence in South Sudan, calling for “social harmony,” and he asked for a “favorable outcome” to peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis. He also renewed his focus on the plight of migrants, some the victims of human trafficking, others fleeing war and poverty to try to reach Europe.

Francis called attention to victims of natural disasters, especially Philippine typhoon victims, while renewing his call to protect the environment, which he said was “frequently exploited by human greed and rapacity.”

Maybe I shouldn’t be so cynical; but, I still recall the too-brief reign of Pope John, the peoples’ Pope. His epistle for Pacem en Terris sparked much of the participation of priests, nuns and their parishioners in peace movements, the civil rights movement, opposition to the scumbags who have always profited from exploitation.

It’s been more than a couple of decades since I could wake up in a jail cell after confronting economic thugs like the Koch Brothers and their private blue-clad army – and found I was sharing a cell with a priest. Cripes, I haven’t had a deep discussion behind bars about that Essene rebel named Jesus since 1965.

The Pope needn’t be concerned about inviting atheists into the battle for peace. We’re waiting for his own brothers and sisters to rejoin the struggle on the same scale as a half-century ago.