Taking TWIC to the extreme

In another case of government regulation run amok, a story published on CNN.com this week discusses the case of mule skinners in a historic Pennsylvania park, who are being required to apply for Transportation Worker Identification Credentials.

Though the name sounds like a taxidermy term, mule skinners are people who drive mules. In this case, the mule skinners work at Hugh Moore Historical Park and guide a pair of mules that pull a boat down a two-mile long canal.

Despite the fact that the canal doesn't pass through any areas considered to be high-value targets for terrorists, the TSA, as is typical with most government agencies, has thus far failed to use common sense and grant the workers an exemption.

According to the story, when Rep. Charles Dent (R-Pennsylvania) tried to get the skinners a waiver, the TSA responded by saying, "We encourage the crew members... who possess Coast Guard mariner credentials to obtain a TWIC at their earliest convenience to comply with these requirements and not risk suspension or revocation of their other credentials."   

Dent is currently working with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to see if they can find a solution to the dilemma.