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Are There Travel Luggage Brands Favored by the TSA?

Posted by Jay Louineaux on
Daily News

If you’re traveling in the United States and if you have come across the TSA, you probably don’t have fond memories. Chances are you really took exception to the way they handled you. For people who are very big on personal independence and autonomy, the worst way you can insult or threaten that person is to put your hand on them.

You will definitely feel your personal space getting invaded. While it may not be as awkward and degrading as your next proctological exam, it can come quite close. The TSA can always justify their actions as necessary for the ‘safety’ of the United States. You know this is true. Most people can agree on this.

It doesn’t matter how seemingly non-threatening or benign it is. It’s still going to be viewed as some sort of threat or unwarranted intrusion. That’s how touchy some people could be and that’s fine. Everybody’s different. Different strokes for different folks.

Other people are very touchy feely. They can’t help but hug total strangers. That’s fine as well. But if you want your next interaction with a TSA to be as smooth and flawless as possible, it’s probably a good idea to lug around luggage that’s very easy to open and close.

In other words, you need to be as compliant with the whole TSA screening procedure system as possible. Unfortunately, a lot of people are clueless regarding this. So they lug around clunky luggage that takes forever to open. What do you think will happen there?

Well, your interaction with the TSA will take longer than necessary. If you thought you were insecure or irritated at a TSA personnel before they even laid a hand on your luggage, wait until you go through that excruciating process.

It’s as if they’re on your face the whole time and it gets really annoying really quickly. So to minimize the likelihood of that situation from happening, do yourself a big favor. Get suitcases that make it easy for you to go through the TSA screening process.

It seems easy but there’s a lot more to this piece of advice. You have to be proactive. You can’t just automatically assume that any luggage you get online would do its job and make your next TSA screening experience a breeze. If only that were the case. It hardly works out that way if you use the wrong luggage.

Please understand that this doesn’t mean that the TSA has it in for some brands over others. Instead, they look at the overall design of your luggage and tie this into the possibility of security issues or other threats. Like it or not and agree with it or not, everything goes back to security.

Please understand that the TSA doesn’t have an approved list of luggage brands or models. Instead, just look for suitcases that are known for durability and also easy use. This way, you don’t have to hassle about long waits at the TSA processing system.

Of course, it’s a necessary evil that they have to pat people down. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be like a long and excruciating ordeal. If you have anything to do with it, you can plan ahead and make sure that you lug around the right kind of baggage that are easy to screen, easy to open, easy to close and easy to move along. That should be your goal.

So with that said, brands that have those qualities include Tumi. The great thing about Tumi is its spinner wheels are so flexible that it doesn’t feel like you’re carrying a bag around. Also, it’s made out of a shell construction that is very easy for x-ray machines to process.

So unless you are carrying cocaine, marijuana or some other contraband, you don’t have anything to worry about from the TSA. This carry on luggage is also very easy to open thanks to its well designed zipper.

It is no surprise that a lot of busy travelers prefer the Tumi brand. They have a long product line. So you’re sure to find a model that is right up your alley.

Another brand you should look into is actually a well known brand. I am, of course, talking about Samsonite. Samsonite made a name for itself when it ran commercials featuring an angry gorilla throwing around a Samsonite luggage.

At the end of this extremely long period of pummeling, thrashing and bashing, the luggage was open. Lo and behold, everything was intact despite all that excruciating punishment. This is what made Samsonite famous.

To its credit, the Samsonite brand has evolved with the times. It knew that TSA screening procedures can be a hassle. It knows that people really don’t want to deal with all the hassles of the TSA. So they made adjustments to their design.

Now, Samsonite luggages, regardless which type and which design, are intended for easy screening. There are no parts that obscure the x-ray image when your luggage is going through the screener. This way, the TSA personnel processing you can quickly scan on the screen, look at you and wave you on.

Pretty straightforward, painless and definitely drama free. So if you’re looking for an uneventful experience with the TSA at your local airport, do yourself a big favor. Get the right luggage.

This is not guaranteed because a lot of people may foolishly pack stuff they shouldn’t be carrying around. But if you are a responsible person and you prepare ahead, you don’t have to worry about TSA issues.

A little bit of advanced preparation can definitely go a long way as far as your piece of mind goes. You might want to get a Samsonite luggage set or look for the many competing brands out there that offer products that look suspiciously similar to Samsonite luggage.

There’s no shortage of these competing brands. In fact, some of them have been around for a very long time. Try these if your budget can’t swing a set of Samsonite luggage. Don’t ever get caught flat footed again with the TSA!

Do Food Stamps Contribute to the Obesity Problem in America?

Posted by Jay Louineaux on
Daily News

Food stamps have always been the boogie man of people looking to cut back the size of the government. That’s the bottom line. At the back of their heads, if you are applying for food stamps, then there’s something fundamentally wrong with you because if you are an able bodied person, you should be out there working.

It is no surprise that a lot of people are asking themselves, “Do food stamps contribute to the obesity problem in America?” The idea is that there’s a lot of people, and I’m talking about millions of Americans, who simply don’t want to get jobs or who have such poor paying jobs that they have to be on food stamps.

The idea is that the vast majority of these people live such sedentary lives that they just flop down in front of a video game or a TV and while away their time. Based on this sedentary lifestyle, it’s no surprise that people’s waistlines get bigger and bigger.

As you probably already know, there’s an obesity epidemic in the United States. More and more people are coming down with obesity related diseases and we are sitting on a ticking demographic health time bomb.

It’s only a matter of time until this massive obesity epidemic translates into an explosion of type 2 diabetes cases, certain types of cancer and, of course, cardiovascular diseases. Indeed, the leading cause of death for Americans for many years now are heart attacks and strokes.

It is in this context that a lot of people are saying that we need to look at different government policies and see what the long term health ramifications are. Unfortunately, given the political hot potato that the welfare state and welfare programs tend to be, it often becomes a moralistic argument.

A lot of people keep saying to themselves and to other people who are willing to listen the basic question. Do food stamps contribute to the obesity problem in America? Well, what they’re really trying to say is that maybe it’s a good idea to cut down on the food stamp program so that more people could go out there and work.

The problem here is there’s an 800 pound gorilla in the room. A significant chunk of all the jobs in the United States pay barely minimum wage. In other words, even if you wanted to work, the best you can do is a minimum wage job.

Now, if you are living with your parents or you’re a young person or you just moved out, maybe you can get by with a job that pays less that $15 an hour. However, if you have a couple of kids and you don’t have a life partner or you’re a single mom or single dad, you’re probably going to have a lot of problems on your hands.

That’s why even working single parents still have supplemental nutritional assistance from the government aka: food stamps. That’s the bottom line.

Any kind of talk regarding just getting lazy people to get off the couch and find work is overly simplistic and ultimately unrealistic.

You can call it cruel. You can call it asinine. You can call it a lot of names. But that sentiment is actually very strong in the United States because as you probably already know, the US is very big on individual responsibility.

It’s very big on freedom. But freedom has a twin. That’s right. That twin is called self responsibility. It is no surprise that the United States is the richest country in the world primarily because of its heavy emphasis on individual freedom.

What people don’t understand about freedom however is that it’s very easy to get excited about the freedom to succeed. It’s very easy to get excited about that person who quits and job and founds a multi-million dollar company. Those are the kinds of stories people love to hear and in fact in many cases, those are the only stories that you do here.

But you don’t hear about the people who try and fail. You don’t hear about the people who fall between the cracks. The reality is that the freedom to succeed also has a twin. The freedom to fail. It really all boils down to the central question of what will society do and is society even obligated to help up or give a hand up to people who have fallen behind?

Please understand that welfare benefits like food stamps might indirectly contribute to the obesity problem. They contribute, indeed, but only indirectly. How come? Well, when a person has a fairly low set budget for their monthly food what do you think they will do?

Are they going to go to their nearest Whole Foods or Trader Joes and buy tons of arugula and kale? Or are they going to go straight to the nearest Dollar General or Dollar Store to load up on a whole lot more heavily processed foods?

Poor people are drawn to cheap food because they get more bang for their buck. Can you really blame them? You probably would make the same decision because, at the end of the day, it’s all about financial and budget efficiency. This is why they are drawn to to cheap food.

The problem is, most of the cheapest foods on the market are cheap precisely because they use highly processed ingredients like super processed flour, corn, and mashed potatoes. Many make up for flavor deficiency by being drenched in saturated fat or gobs of sugar. Not exactly the healthiest of nutritional profiles.

This is going to be a debate that will rage on for many decades to come. After all, it’s been going on for several decades now. Ever since the New Deal, Americans have been debating this issue. But the truth is when you look at the rest of the world, there seems to be some sort of forward march to greater and greater government control. That trend is probably not going to go away anytime soon.