Yes, it’s true. Mule skinners (drivers) pose a threat to national security. This must be so because why else would they be required to have a TWIC? To be fair, the letter of the law says that anyone with a CG-issued mariner credential must also have a TWIC by the April 15th deadline or face suspension or revocation (S&R) action from the Coasties. But come on, have we really been reduced to this level of bureaucratic idiocy? It looks like the new DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, the level-headed and pragmatic former-attorney general and governor of Arizona, might just sort this out in favor of sanity. But the fact that this has required congressional intervention is simply mind boggling. Surely this could have been handled satisfactorily at a lower level. Read the whole story of the Mule Skinner’s Blues at CNN, and I hereby thank Capt. Richard Rodriguez and his excellent PNW-oriented BitterEnd blog for the news flash.
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How useless is the TWIC? Pretty much completely. Hell, it’s even listed at the very bottom of the TSA’s own list of acceptable forms of ID when checking in at an airport! How big of a waste of money,
Here’s some more potentially good news on the sometimes serious mariner access problems that we’ve all experienced at various terminals and facilities when trying to change out crews, go grub shopping