Saturday, July 9, 2011
(Oh - and please ignore the islamaphobia in the opening paragraph of the linked Examiner article. After all, when a foreign carrier partners with an American one, that foreign carrier will have to impose our draconian anti-civil liberties laws on foreigners! If only American carriers were forced to live under judeo-christian law instead of the state-religion law. We might actually have our rights respected!)
The wired.com article is odd in concluding that Afghanis will care about this - they will be set up on bases to screen people and cargo coming in. Presumably, most Afghanis avoid US bases like the plague and will be unaffected. Rather, the Army will be screening the people that it brings onto the base - perhaps prisoners, contractors, vendors, and military personnel. But, I'm reporting this here because the article notes that US Customs already uses the vehicle scanners, which use high-powered radiation to see through trucks and into their contents. There have already been roadblocks well within US borders using these machines. In addition to the serious danger these pose if a person is scanned*, the idea that we have freedom of movement in this country is already a joke.
* No one is claiming that the radiation from these vehicle scanners is safe. A scientific paper on this subject showed that in Europe the scanners detected people being smuggled in a truck using these machines (I'll see if I can find a link). In addition to drugs, US Customs is also interested in people being smuggled into the country, and part of the propaganda is the terrible conditions that these poor illegal immigrants suffer in transit. So what do we do? We irradiate them!
Friday, July 8, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
The Transportation Security Administration employee charged with assaulting a coworker who taunted him about the size of his penis after his genitalia was exposed by a full-body scanner has agreed to attend anger management classes and write a letter of apology as part of a settlement of his criminal case, records show.
TSA screener Rolando Negrin, 46, will also perform 50 hours of community service and make a $100 charitable donation, according to terms of a pre-trial diversion program that, if successfully completed, will result in dismissal of the felony battery case lodged against Negrin in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
In the meantime, our collective surrender to fear is robbing of us of something ineffable and precious. For what it's worth, I'm old enough to remember the lyric from the old Buffalo Springfield song: You step out of line, the man come, and take you away. In a small way, it's become true.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I opted out, and no one patted me down. Why? Probably because they were too busy patting down every second or third passenger who walked through the body scanners. Leave a pen, handkerchief or wallet in your pocket, and you get a body scan and a pat-down.
Monday, July 4, 2011
The participating teams are composed of a variety of TSA assets including federal air marshals, canine teams, inspectors and bomb appraisal officers. They will be joined by state and local law enforcement officials to supplement existing resources, provide detection and response capabilities. The exercise will utilize multiple airborne assets, including Blackhawk helicopters and fixed wing aircraft as well as waterborne and surface teams.
It is mandatory for passengers to go through the full body scanners at Manchester, Gatwick and Heathrow airports, and staff there have been told that anyone who refuses should not be allowed to board.And, there is also this information about Italy:
The Italian government had planned to install full body scanners at all airports and train stations but removed them from airports, calling them ‘slow and ineffective’.
Never overestimate what level government bureaucrats (or their gangs of hired thugs) can sink to. If the neocons had their way, we would still see old women and young children being abused, but they wouldn't be white.
The point here is that everyone - American or not, white or not - has an inalienable right to be secure in their persons and possessions. This right can only be breached in the American system through due process - meaning that a government agent has to get a judge to sign a warrant for the search after being presented with evidence of probably cause for suspicion of a specific crime.
Today is our Independence Day, and it would do us well to remember that one of the grievances listed in the VA Declaration of Rights (a model document for Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence) was:
That general warrants, whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive and ought not to be granted.And, furthermore,
On the night before the Declaration of Independence was published, JOHN ADAMS cited the "argument concerning the Writs of Assistance … as the commencement of the controversy between Great Britain and America."Clearly our American (and English law) heritage holds the TSA in contempt. Perhaps, one day, both the mainstream left and right will realize this.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
In the same FOIA request, EPIC also confirmed that the TSA's statements regarding the safety testing by experts at NIST and Hopkins were untrue. (Shocking, I know.) Here's one concise report:
But in an email obtained by EPIC, a NIST official stated that the agency had not tested the scanners for safety and does not in fact do product testing. Rather NIST had merely measured the radiation dose from a single machine against the standard of what is considered acceptable. It had not done the rigorous product testing required to determine safety over time.
Although TSA union reps at Boston's Logan Airport asked that the agency allow its screeners to wear radiation-monitoring devices, the TSA has yet to provide the dosimeters, EPIC said. Meanwhile, another document obtained by EPIC shows that NIST recommends that TSA screeners avoid standing next to the scanners whenever possible, and a Johns Hopkins University study finds that radiation zones around body scanners could potentially exceed the "General Public Dose Limit."
By the way - I want to reiterate something in Rand Paul's questioning of Pistole. He pointed out that the law is clear on whether flying is a privilege: it's not a privilege, despite Pistole's opinion on the matter.