One day last week, I woke up, got dressed for work, and hugged and kissed my 18-year old daughter goodbye, as she was shortly to be heading out to the airport to fly out west to visit a friend. I then got in my car and headed to work. About two hours later, I received a phone call from my wife, who was sobbing and inconsolable. It took me a minute or two to get her calmed down enough to understand what had happened; and when she told me what happened, I was livid.
It seems that my 18-year old, 5’7”, 125-pound daughter was involved in a dispute with a TSA agent (my daughter is many things, but meek and soft-spoken she is most certainly not). As she was making her way through security, the TSA agent began going through her purse, and proceeded to begin throwing away personal toiletry items, including a bottle of lotion that exceeded the maximum 3.4 ounce limit by a few ounces. My daughter, who is extremely sensitive to perfumes and additives found in most lotions, soaps, and shampoos, has to buy this expensive lotion for her hands and arms. Seeing the agent throw the lotion in the trash, she asked the agent if she (the agent) was going to pay to replace it, and when the agent declared she would not, my daughter removed the lotion and put it back in her purse.
We’ve complained long and hard about the TSA and it’s terrible “security” practices for years. It’s a horrible agency that should have never been instituted. Fortunately, Rand Paul is on the case:
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he will very likely re-introduce legislation to drastically scale back the Transportation Securities Administration’s reach by privatizing TSA security screening operations at airports and creating a series of passenger protections, Politico reports.
“I think we are going to,” Paul said when asked if he would take another crack at the agency. “We have two different bills, one to privatize the TSA and then we have another one which is a passenger bill of rights.”
Paul’s introduced TSA privatization and flier bill of rights legislation last summer after resisting a pat-down, which postponed his flight and caused him to miss a speech at a March for Life rally.
One bill would have ended the TSA screening operation and require airports to choose companies from the private sector to do screening. The other bill would have allowed certain people to opt out of pat-downs, required distribution of a list of fliers’ rights, and greatly expanded an expedited screening program for frequent fliers.
There are dumb ideas…and then there are really dumb ideas. And then there are, so to say, Congressional politicians. We’re not quite at that level yet, but it seems like it. I am of course, referring to a rather silly piece in Slate magazine titled “Let’s Nationalize Facebook,” written by one Phillip N. Howard, a professor of communications and information technology from the University of Washington. His reasons for doing so are:
Over the last several years, Facebook has become a public good and an important social resource. But as a company, it is behaving badly, and long term, that may cost it: A spring survey found that almost half of Americans believe that Facebook will eventually fade away. Even the business side has been a bit of a disaster lately, with earnings lower than expected and the news that a significant portion of Facebook profiles are fake. If neither users nor investors can be confident in the company, it’s time we start discussing an idea that might seem crazy: nationalizing Facebook.
Written by Julian Sanchez, a research fellow at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
This weekend, The New York Times reported that the Transportation Security Administration’s “behavioral detection” program at Logan Airport has devolved into a racial profiling program, according to complaints from 32 federal officers who’ve seen up-close how it works. And yet to my eye, racial profiling isn’t the only constitutionally problematic aspect of the program revealed in the article (emphasis mine below):
In interviews and internal complaints, officers from the Transportation Security Administration’s “behavior detection” program at Logan International Airport in Boston asserted that passengers who fit certain profiles — Hispanics traveling to Miami, for instance, or blacks wearing baseball caps backward — are much more likely to be stopped, searched and questioned for “suspicious” behavior.
“They just pull aside anyone who they don’t like the way they look — if they are black and have expensive clothes or jewelry, or if they are Hispanic,” said one white officer, who along with four others spoke with The New York Times on the condition of anonymity. […]
If you know me personally, outside of the blogosphere, you know that I generally hold a dim view of online petitions. I generally don’t think they mean much, they mostly get ignored by whomever is being petitioned. However, the First Amendment provides for the people “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” And, with the rise of sites such as Change.org and even the White House’s own petition center, petitions are slowly gaining some traction. People do pay attention, if only because they’re afraid of the PR fallout.
With that in mind, I’m here to show you the one online petition you should be caring about. It was started by the Cato Institute’s Director of Information Policy Studies Jim Haper, and it literally says: Require the Transportation Security Administration to Follow the Law!
Harper explains on Cato-At-Liberty:
A year ago this coming Sunday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered the Transportation Security Administration to do a notice-and-comment rulemaking on its use of Advanced Imaging Technology (aka “body-scanners” or “strip-search machines”) for primary screening at airports. (The alternative for those who refuse such treatment: a prison-style pat-down.) It was a very important ruling, for reasons I discussed in a post back then. The TSA was supposed to publish its policy in the Federal Register, take comments from the public, and issue a final rule that responds to public input.
So far, it hasn’t done any of those things.
Click the image below to embed on your own site — and consider this an open thread.
Created by: OnlineCriminalJusticeDegree.com
Tonight President Obama will deliver his third State of the Union address, but something that happened yesterday illustrates the true state of our union far better than anything you’ll hear tonight. As we reported yesterday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was detained by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials at the Nashville International Airport. Paul was detained by TSA officials after refusing an invasive full body pat-down following some kind of anomaly in the body scanner’s reading. Some might argue that there’s nothing to get worked up about here. After all, shouldn’t we expect senators to be treated like everyone else? But it is precisely because everyday citizens are subjected to these invasive procedures on a daily basis that Sen. Paul’s detention is so alarming. His high-profile detention by the TSA serves as a reminder that Americans are having their privacy violated every day on their way through the nation’s airports.
You probably won’t hear about Sen. Paul’s detention by the TSA in President Obama’s address tonight. You’re not likely to hear anything about it in the GOP response delivered by Governor Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.), nor even in the Tea Party response offered by businessman and former presidential candidate Herman Cain (R-Ga.). You probably won’t hear about the National Defense Authorization Act, the Stop Online Piracy Act, or any of the other manifold ways that Washington has undermined the Bill of Rights. But whether our politicians want to raise these issues or not, these are the issues that define the state of our union in the 21st century. And the state of our union is dire.
Rick Perry, looking to get back on top of the GOP primary, has unveiled a new reform plan that will “uproot, tear down and rebuild Washington, D.C. and our federal institutions,” as he puts it:
Blasting the congressional “creatures of Washington” for being overpaid and detached from the struggles of the people outside the Beltway, Texas Gov. and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry vowed Tuesday to eliminate federal agencies, set term limits for federal judges and push for a part-time Congress where both members’ pay and office budgets are sliced in half.
The three-term governor, speaking on a campaign swing in Bettendorf, Iowa, said he would lead by example by cutting his salary as president until the federal budget is balanced, and said that lawmakers who use information to profit from stock trades should go to jail — in what appeared to be a clear reference to recent news reports alleging insider trading involving House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“I do not believe Washington needs a new coat of paint, it needs a complete overhaul,” Mr. Perry said, according to prepared remarks. “We need to uproot, tear down and rebuild Washington, D.C. and our federal institutions.”
I’m reading his actual plan right here, and I have to say, there are some good ideas here, and one very bad one.
TSA gets a tough rap. Let’s face it folks, these people do a tough, tough job, and all they get from us is nothing but derision, despite their hard work They keep us safe from terrorists and all we can do…
…OK, sorry, I just can’t keep typing that crap without laughing my butt off.
Seriously, TSA is about as idiotic an organization as could possibly exist. Even if they were a good idea, the Department of Homeland Security can’t seem to get all that much right. The TSA, and their idea of keeping the nation safe is a prime example:
A recent TSA blog post cites several cases in which the agency’s screeners stopped travelers from carrying guns or knives onto airplanes: “the passenger in Boston who had a steak knife in his carry-on bag; the El Paso passenger with a 6 ½-inch hunting knife in his carry-on bag; the LaGuardia Airport passenger who had eight rounds of 9 mm ammunition in his bag; the JFK Airport passenger who had a 6-inch butterfly knife in his bag; and the New Orleans passenger who had a loaded .380 caliber firearm—with a bullet in the chamber—in his carry-on bag.” I’m not sure those eight 9mm rounds posed much of a threat, unless the passenger planned to hurl them at people. And as a commenter notes on the TSA blog, there is no indication that any of these passengers intended to harm anyone. But at least guns and knives are weapons (or potential weapons) that theoretically could be used to hijack a plane.
What if the Federal Reserve dollar falls – hard? How is the globalist blueprint known as Sustainable Development Agenda 21 designed to make humans into livestock? Why liberty must be understood by this generation of Americans lest it be lost for a very long time.
More Americans, an accelerating percentage of ordinary citizens, have come to understand the nature of “fiat” monetary system – that is money created out of thin air. The contemporary fiat system came to the United States in 1913 with the congressional creation of the privately owned United States Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve legislation violated Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution by the issuance of legal tender and brought once again the influence/control of the globalist banking cartel to the U.S.
Today’s global monetary system was originally authorized by the British Parliament. Its purpose was to form the central bank of England as the Bank of England, which is the equivalent to our Federal Reserve, to control a nation’s money.
“Issuing money” means controlling fiat (phony) money creation through the operation of a printing press or computer entry. This results in the regular increase in the money supply which ultimately expresses itself as price inflation.
Newly issued money is infused into the money supply via the creation of debt. Much of this debt is held by the federal government. More money equals more debt. ‘The harder I work’, says the average American, ‘the deeper in debt the nation becomes.’
Growing debt cedes the ultimate exercise of control to the creditor, particularly as the system breaks down under its own largesse. A “new” system is being designed by the same forces who designed today’s fiat system and who now have America close to the brink of dollar destruction. It is the replacement system that we must be wary of if we are to exercise a wise defense and restoration of freedom.