“Airport security in America is broken. I should know. For 3½ years—from my confirmation in July 2005 to President Barack Obama’s inauguration in January 2009—I served as the head of the Transportation Security Administration. […]
More than a decade after 9/11, it is a national embarrassment that our airport security system remains so hopelessly bureaucratic and disconnected from the people whom it is meant to protect. Preventing terrorist attacks on air travel demands flexibility and the constant reassessment of threats. It also demands strong public support, which the current system has plainly failed to achieve.
The crux of the problem, as I learned in my years at the helm, is our wrongheaded approach to risk. In attempting to eliminate all risk from flying, we have made air travel an unending nightmare for U.S. passengers and visitors from overseas, while at the same time creating a security system that is brittle where it needs to be supple. […]
What would a better system look like? If politicians gave the TSA some political cover, the agency could institute the following changes before the start of the summer travel season:
1. No more banned items: Aside from obvious weapons capable of fast, multiple killings—such as guns, toxins and explosive devices—it is time to end the TSA’s use of well-trained security officers as kindergarten teachers to millions of passengers a day. The list of banned items has created an “Easter-egg hunt” mentality at the TSA. Worse, banning certain items gives terrorists a complete list of what not to use in their next attack. Lighters are banned? The next attack will use an electric trigger.
2. Allow all liquids: Simple checkpoint signage, a small software update and some traffic management are all that stand between you and bringing all your liquids on every U.S. flight. Really.
3. Give TSA officers more flexibility and rewards for initiative, and hold them accountable: No security agency on earth has the experience and pattern-recognition skills of TSA officers. We need to leverage that ability. TSA officers should have more discretion to interact with passengers and to work in looser teams throughout airports. And TSA’s leaders must be prepared to support initiative even when officers make mistakes. Currently, independence on the ground is more likely to lead to discipline than reward.
4. Eliminate baggage fees: Much of the pain at TSA checkpoints these days can be attributed to passengers overstuffing their carry-on luggage to avoid baggage fees. The airlines had their reasons for implementing these fees, but the result has been a checkpoint nightmare. Airlines might increase ticket prices slightly to compensate for the lost revenue, but the main impact would be that checkpoint screening for everybody will be faster and safer.
5. Randomize security: Predictability is deadly. Banned-item lists, rigid protocols—if terrorists know what to expect at the airport, they have a greater chance of evading our system.”
1 Large 28 oz can of Rotel tomatoes (substitute plain diced tomatoes if you prefer)
4 quarts fresh Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
3 pounds frozen Cut Okra
5 Bay Leaves
If you like a little bite in your foods……..
1/2 tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Spanish paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
2 sticks Butter
1 cup All-purpose flour
3 pounds fresh large shrimp (peeled and deveined (if needed)
1 pound White Crab Meat
1 pound Claw Crab Meat
1 pound Crawfish Tails (when available)
1 pint Fresh Oysters (optional)
chopped green onions Gumbo File’< ground sassafrass leaves>optional
Base: Begin by heating canola oil in a large stock pot (medium high) Saute’ Cajun Trinity until vegetables are well cooked. Add 2 tablespoons minced garlic. Pour in the large can of tomatoes and 4 quarts chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Add okra and stir well. Reduce heat to ( medium) and allow okra to cook 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom.
When the okra is about done, start on the Roux.
Roux: In a deep cast iron skillet, melt 2 sticks of butter on ( medium heat). Using a flat edged high temp spatula or spoon, gradually stir in the 1 cup of flour. Continue to stir – be careful not to splash on yourself. <This is VERY HOT and can burn you>. Once you a achieve a dark carmel color, turn off the heat. Keep moving the roux so it doesn’t scorch. Carefully, pour into the stock pot and stir as you go. This is best done with two people if possible. Continue to simmer on ( medium low) for 10 minutes.
Seafood: Add Shrimp, Crab, Crawfish Tails and Oysters shortly (Approx 5 mins) before you are ready to serve. <The seafood will only take about 5 minutes to cook.>
Serving Suggestions: Serve over white rice and garnish with chopped green onions and Gumbo File’. A side salad and French rolls are excellent accompaniments.
Seafood Gumbo is a staple in the Cajun and Creole Cultures. As in most Cajun Cooking recipes, we will start with a Roux. A roux is used as a thickening agent for this traditional seafood soup. The word Gumbo derives from the Creole culture which is the West African word for okra.
Okra is also used as a thickening agent as is a special spice called Gumbo File’. File’ is ground sassafras. Sprinkle Gumbo File’ on the bowl of gumbo at the table for a little extra spiciness.
You may think that Gumbo, whether Chicken and Sausage Gumbo or Seafood Gumbo, is only good in the cold weather. However, you can enjoy Gumbo year round.