Still here, just busy

Update : Two by two, hands of blue. :-\
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I know I haven’t posted anything for, like, forever (in blog terms at least). Sorry about that, life’s just been keeping me busy lately.

Unfortunately, and despite my best attempts to convince my family to drive, I have to fly halfway across the country for a funeral. Let’s just say that I am not looking forward to the TSA experience (the only reason I wanted to drive the ~700 miles each way). We’ll see how things work out.

I expect to be back early next week.

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An alternative to the TSA

I have an idea. Rather than molesting and taking naked photos of airline passengers, let’s do this instead:

  1. Abolish the TSA. They’re worse than useless.
  2. Issue every adult passenger on the airliner a Taser, specially made with no “repeat shock” or “drive stun” functions (to prevent emotionally driven abuse if it needs to be used – any needed redundancy will come from other passengers with Tasers).

Sure, if there’s a terrorist on board you’ve just given him a weapon. But he gets to disable just one person with it, on a plane full of passengers (over 400, on a 747, depending on the configuration) who also have Tasers, and who remember what the terrorists did on 9-11. I wish him luck with that.

What’s that you say? With the TSA gone he got a gun onto the plane, so now he’s better armed than the passengers? Well, he still has to get past a couple hundred scared and angry passengers, all armed with Tasers, many of whom are or will eventually be behind him. Again, good luck with that.

What about bombs? Well, it’s not like the TSA has actually stopped any of those so far, is it? It’s only blind luck that the ones that got through were duds. We won’t be losing any security, there, and passengers with Tasers will have a better chance at stopping the triggerman than if they have to wrestle the detonator away from him.

Why not guns with frangible ammunition? Because using Tasers in this way actually has some advantages over firearms. 1) Bad guys using it only get one shot, vs. hundreds of similarly armed passengers, 2) Misses and “friendly” fire in the confined space of an aircraft are very unlikely to kill anyone, and 3) Someone acting oddly due to a medical issue or intoxication is far less likely to be killed by a twitchy passenger (I believe a couple of instances of “dogpile on the crazy guy” have resulted from medical issues), allowing more reasoned authorities to sort things out on the ground.

As a final, redundant measure, give the pilots guns, just in case somebody actually manages to breach the cockpit. If you can’t trust the pilots with guns, then why the heck are you letting them fly the plane?

Simple and effective. This would do more to enhance aviation security than any kind of passenger screening and searches that we could possibly do.

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(Note: This post is a repeat of a comment I posted at Joe Huffman’s blog, The View From North Central Idaho. Since the original post was a few days old by the time I commented, and I like the idea, I thought I’d repost it here.)

Your Security Theatre at work

High quality “security”.

Travelers in Sacramento, Calif., got a surprise when they approached airport security and no one was at the metal detector. Five passengers went on through without any screening. Finally, officials noticed the unattended metal detector and shut down the terminal until the passengers were found and screened.

[NPR summary quoted in full because it is so short that any omissions would lose critical information. Full audio of the story is available here.]

TSA is a sham. They have yet to actually catch a single terrorist, while constantly violating people’s Fourth Amendment Rights against unreasonable searches (even at border checkpoints, agents must have reasonable suspicion to conduct a body search), and while performing actions that would be considered sexual assault if done by anyone else.

Disband TSA yesterday.

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[Source: NPR Morning Edition story, retrieved 2/27/12]

The American Gestapo is here.

TSA conducting random vehicle searches in Tennessee.

Via Oleg Volk. More commentary later, when I’m not trying to post from my phone.

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Update: Maybe not today,though. I’m still letting this percolate in my head as I try to figure out what I want to commit to pixels.

(h/t SayUncle)

Red haze of Rage – TSA ruins 6 year old’s Disney vacation

Boy to TSA: “I don’t want to go to Disneyland anymore.” (Video story only, so far.)

Two things need to be done:

  1. Disband the TSA NOW!
  2. Take every TSA agent who has done a pat-down of a child and charge them with sexual assault of a minor, and charge any agent or supervisor who has either ordered or allowed such a search as an accessory.
  3. Charge every TSA agent with violation of civil rights under colour of law.
  4. Throw them all in jail.

“I was just following orders” is no excuse for traumatizing a child.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

United States Constitution, Amendment IV

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(h/t SayUncle)

If you thought the TSA was bad before…

then take a look at this.

The Los Angeles Times said the US administration had warned airlines that extremist groups were considering surgically implanting explosives into people to try to beat enhanced airport security measures.

Passengers flying to the United States could now face even tougher screening procedures, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, Nicholas Kimball, told the daily.

Of course, anyone with two brain cells to rub together has known this was coming for at least the last ten years (which means the government probably only figured it out last week). And $deity help anyone flying shortly after any kind of surgery.

I expect that this will not end well.

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[Source: AFP article on Yahoo! News, retrieved 7/6/11]

Quote of the Day #2 – 2011-06-27

Tam, in a comment on her post on the TSA’s latest antics, and the fact that we’re probably beyond the point of voting our way out of this.

Like you said, if I knew what to do, I’d have done it, and if I thought this was the kind of problem that could actually be solved by saddling up and busting caps, I’d have done that, too, but I just don’t think it’s that simple (and hasn’t been, for over a hundred years.)

At this point, I think we’re still more likely to succeed in voting our way out of this than to succeed in shooting our way out. I just don’t think we’re very likely at all to succeed in voting our way out.

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Quote of the Day – 2011-06-27

Joe Huffman talks about his Army son-in-law having to deal with the TSA.

Today daughter Xenia and her army husband went through TSA on their way to Alaska. One of his checked “bags” (a large plastic “tote”) had the locks broken so TSA could search the contents. He was also singled out for special attention. He opted for the “feel me up” search rather than the “naked body scan”.

The U.S. government trusts him to fight terrorists in the sandbox using some very expensive equipment and with the lives of the men under him and around him but they have to feel him up before he can fly on a commercial flight with his wife and her cat?

I think I know where to find the “bad people”.—Joe [emphasis mine - Jake]

They harass our soldiers – the very people trusted with protecting our national security. They fondle young children, in a way that would be considered sexual abuse in any other situation. They publicly humiliate cancer-stricken, 95-year-old women and soak another cancer survivor in his own urine without apology. They search and harass the pilots who will be flying the planes and can doom the entire flight with nothing more than a single manipulation of the controls. They frequently stage massive surprise raids at bus and train stations, searching travelers without warrants or probable cause.

This “cure” is worse than the disease. Yet the American people continue to meekly bow their heads and say “Yes, sir” to these repeated outrageous abuses and violations of their Rights. And all this despite the fact that TSA has yet to actually stop a single terrorist, repeatedly and frequently fails tests, and has in fact missed more than one real terrorist.

The TSA have become the bad guys, the “jack-booted thugs” we have all been warned about all our lives, while doing nothing to actually ensure our national security. They, along with The War on (Some) Drugs, are the rotten core of the American police state, and they must be stopped before they extend their tendrils any further into our national identity.

Disband the TSA today!

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TSA’s Jack-booted thugs – Not just for airports, anymore

Courtesy of Firehand at Irons in the Fire (now added to the blogroll), we have a new tale of the TSA out of control.

Bus travelers were shocked when jackbooted TSA officers in black SWAT-style uniforms descended unannounced upon the Tampa Greyhound bus station in April with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and federal bureaucrats in tow.

A news report by ABC Action News in Tampa showed passengers being given the signature pat downs Americans are used to watching the Transportation Security Administration screeners perform at our airports. Canine teams sniffed their bags and the buses they rode. Immigration officials hunted for large sums of cash as part of an anti-smuggling initiative.

[...]

The TSA has conducted 8,000 of these security sweeps across the country in the past year alone, TSA chief John Pistole told a Senate committee June 14.  They are part of its VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) program, which targets public transit related places.

The only coherent response to this sort of police-state activity that I can come up with at the moment is a simple quote.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment IV

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[Source: American Thinker article online, retrieved 6/21/11]

(h/t Firehand at Irons in the Fire)

Appropriately handling the TSA: Quote of the Day – 2011-05-16

Stingray over at Atomic Nerds tells us about his excellent response to a TSA thug trying to assert his Authoritah!.

Yesterday involved taking LabRat to the airport so she could go look after her mother for a bit. [...] Expecting the highest professionalism the TSA is capable of, I opted to come in and watch her clear security to make sure they didn’t discover that my Kindle was suddenly on the banned objects list, or some similar effort to make the skies safer. With a mid-week mid-afternoon flight, the lines weren’t too bad, so I picked a vantage spot where I could see the goons and watch with quiet anger the violation of my wife near the entrance point to the maze-like line path.

As she was approaching the grope-or-ogle point, a young TSA lackey approached him, and demanded he either get in line himself or leave. Stingray’s explanation that he was simply waiting to make sure that his wife cleared the checkpoint without incident fell upon deaf ears, and the skinny little thug-wannabe repeated his demand.

Stingray’s response, while entirely appropriate and satisfying, is not quite Family Friendly, so I’m putting it after a break.

(more…)

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