11-20-2010 09:59 PM - editado 11-20-2010 10:02 PM
TSA’s Violation of Constitution’s 4th Amendment ‘Necessary and Proper’
By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Nipplitaliano defended her Transportation Security Administration’s new invasive searches of would be air travelers as “necessary and proper” while also acknowledging that the procedures appear to violate the Constitutional prohibition against “unreasonable searches.”
“In a perfect world everyone’s rights can be respected,” she said. “But sometimes we have to put aside strict adherence to the Constitution if a more important purpose is to be served.”
Presumably, the more important purpose is public safety. However, scientists have raised questions as to whether safety would be enhanced by submitting travelers to repeated x-ray scans. Arizona State University Professor Peter Rez estimated that the probability of dying from radiation from a body scanner is about equal to that of being killed in a terror attack: one in 30 million. And that’s if the scanners work as advertised. Rez’s study revealed that radiation doses are often higher than the manufacturer claims.
Professor John Sedat, a University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) professor of biochemistry and biophysics, called the machines “mutagenic” and allowed that “there is good reason to believe that these scanners will increase the risk of cancer to children and other vulnerable populations.”
Nipplitaliano declared these risks “within acceptable parameters. Anyone who gets cancer from the scans will die years, maybe decades, from now. Besides, people who’re concerned about radiation can opt for a ‘pat down.’” These pat downs include manual probing of the passenger’s genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh and buttocks. Persons who leave the airport rather than submit to either the scanner or the pat down search—as John “don’t touch my junk” Tyner did—may be fined up to $11,000.
Cynics suggest that the real “more important purpose” may be the purchase of the scanners themselves. The Government has reportedly committed to investing $800 million in the devices, which, as it turns out, are manufactured by a company called Rapiscan, whose CEO, Deepak Chopra, made the maximum legally allowable donation to President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Ironically, Nipplitaliano is said to be weighing the possibility of exempting Muslim women from the enhanced search protocol. “Having their bodies seen or touched by unbelievers is a grievous transgression in their religion,” Nipplitaliano observed. “Forcing them to comply might essentially be barring them from flying. That would be unfair discrimination.”
In related news, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is said to be pushing the idea of using archived scan images as a possible revenue generator. “A lot of people pay a lot of money to view naked pictures over the Internet,” Geithner observed. “We’ll have a steady supply to feed into this market. Or we could agree to withhold certain images from the market in exchange for a fee. Either way, it would be money we could get without having to go to Congress for an appropriation.”
GM Stock Sale Shows Obamanomics Working
President Barack Obama lauded the General Motors stock sale as “proof of the success of my policies.” The sale included half of the shares held by the federal government and netted the US Treasury over $11 billion dollars.
While the goal of getting the Government out of GM is worthy, it is difficult to see how it can be described as a success. The federal government put $50 billion into the company and just sold half its interest for $11 billion. This represents almost a 60% loss of its equity pposition. The President discounted the relevance of such financial calculations, though. “From a pure financial perspective this looks like a bad investment,” Obama agreed. “Compared to other transportation investments the Government has made, though, it looks pretty good. Rail transit typically loses about 90% of the taxpayer money we put into it. And high-speed rail is on track for even worse outcomes. But this doesn’t matter. What does matter is that all the money we spent became someone’s income. So nothing was really lost.”
In related news, the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) reported the $800 billion “stimulus package” to be a “great success” in that it “created or saved 3.5 million jobs.” For those doing the math, if, in fact, this spending did save 3.5 million jobs this amounts to a cost of over $200,000 per job—four times the estimated average wage for working Americans. The missing $150,000 per job was attributed to “administrative expense, regulatory oversight, and the spillage that is unavoidable in government projects of this magnitude.”
Emanuel Dismisses Possible Residency Challenge
President Obama’s former Chief-of-Staff, Rahm Emanuel dismissed the possibility that he would be found ineligible to run for the Chicago mayor’s job because he hasn’t met the residency requirement.
The residency requirement does allow an exception for active-duty members of the US military. Emanuel contends that he qualifies under this exception. “I have served directly under the Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces for the last two years,” Emanuel pointed out. “During that time we have been continuously at war. So, even though I haven’t worn a uniform or carried a weapon I’ve been just as much in the line of fire as the President himself.”
Emanuel stated that he has a letter signed by the President that names him an “aide-de-camp” and that he will present this letter if it becomes necessary to prove his active-duty military credentials.
Press Briefings to Be Scaled Back
The White House announced that the frequency of Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ on-camera media briefings is being scaled back. “He was getting more ‘face time’ with the media than the President,” said David Axelrod, Senior Advisor to President Obama. “No one should be getting more face time than the President.”
There is also some speculation that the Administration will be deemphasizing communications in the context of the intent to govern by Executive Order. “It’s not as if the President is under any obligation to answer questions either personally or through his Press Secretary,” said John Podesta, former Chief of Staff for President Clinton. “As Commander-in-Chief, the President has all the authority he needs to rule this country with or without the concurrence of Congress or anybody else. Cap-and Trade, Card-Check, Single-Payer Health Care—all can be implemented by the stroke of a pen. If he needs to deploy troops to enforce his will he has the power to do so. He just has to maintain the strength to act and not let himself be bothered by the caviling of his enemies.”
Carville Issues Correction on “Balls” Statement
Amidst charges that he is an “uncouth *******,” Democratic political guru James Carville sought to clarify his earlier remarks. “I know I said that if Hillary gave one of her balls to Obama he’d have two,” Carville admitted. “But I confess that I can’t fully back that up. The part about Hillary is true enough. I’ve seen ‘em. But I can’t vouch for President Obama. The transplant I envisioned might only give him the one ball he gets from Hillary.”
President Hampered by Unconstrained Brilliance
President Obama’s low approval status among American voters is being attributed to his “unconstrained brilliance” and “incomparable talent” by a pair of leading Democrats.
White House senior adviser and longtime Obama friend Valerie Jarrett contends that “his extraordinary talent is so far above that of the average person that there is a disconnect that fosters envy and jealousy. People are refusing to respond positively to his genius out of spite. They are crucifying him just like they crucified Jesus.”
Vice-President Joe Biden argued that “the President is brilliant beyond our comprehension. He makes the rest of us look like morons. It is we who have let him down. The failure of his policies is not due to any fault of his. We are just too stupid to get with the program and do our part to make him succeed.”
Biden theorized that Obama’s brilliance was the result of “having a Caucasian mother, being raised in a Caucasian neighborhood by Caucasian grandparents. This gives him the unique blend of a Black man’s strength and virility combined with the intellectual stimulation of a White upbringing. If both his parents had been Black and he’d grown up in the ghetto he’d probably have been a high school drop out and street thug with a prison record and a short life expectancy.”
The Vice-President did claim to have one advantage over the President. “My dog is smarter than his dog,” Biden boasted. “Hell, my dog is smarter than me. Maybe he should be the vice-president.”
Senator Wants Fox News Shut Down
Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) urged the Federal Communications Commission to consider putting Fox News out of business. “We could do our work of governing this nation much more effectively without persistent questioning and criticism from the anti-government crowd,” Rockefeller contended. “Media outlets like Fox are undermining the American people’s faith in their leaders. They aggravate problems by casting doubt on our intentions, our motives, and the feasibility of our actions. A big contributor to the success of any undertaking is the belief that it will work. Media that weaken this belief aren’t helping us. The nation doesn’t need them.”
Publicado: 11-20-2010 10:43 PM
Breaking: Former Gov. Ventura Will No Longer Fly Due to Abuse He’s Endured at Hands of TSA
Posted By kurtnimmoadmin On November 19, 2010 @ 1:22 pm In Kurt Nimmo
November 19, 2010
Jesse said he will no longer be forced by the TSA to prove he is not a criminal or terrorist.
Appearing on the Alex Jones Show today, the former governor of Minnesota and host of the popular TruTV show, Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura, announced he will no longer use commercial airlines due to the egregious abuses of the TSA and the government.
Ventura said he made the decision to avoid public aircraft after he found himself becoming too comfortable with being routinely searched. He said he was subjected to pat down and search three or four times a week when he traveled for his television show. Ventura had hip surgery and the metal in his body invariably sets off airport metal detectors.
Jesse said he will no longer be forced by the TSA to prove he is not a criminal or terrorist. He refuses to be considered guilty until proven innocent by the government in violation of the Fourth Amendment. He also admitted the decision not to fly may put an end to his career.
Excerpted Quotes from Jesse Ventura’s Radio Statement
“I feel that as a former governor, a former mayor, an honestly discharged [Vietnam] Navy veteran, that I can’t live with myself and subject myself that every time I go to an airport I have to prove that I am not a murderer, I have to prove I am not guilty of anything, I have to prove I won’t hijack a plane. I find it ridiculous and so for my own personal choice I will not fly a commercial airliner or subject myself to that again.”
“It probably means an end to my career.”
“I wish no ill will on my country. I am a patriot to my country. And yet I am subjected and treated like I might hijack a plane or I might blow up and murder people. And I take offense to that, Alex.”
You’re also being x-rayed… Now if you’re flying four times a week, I don’t care how much they tell you how little radiation you’re getting. You start multiplying that out four, five, six times a week, 52 weeks out of the year maybe, then in five years from now I get some brain tumor and everyone is going to say ‘Gee, how did that happen?’ … So I don’t want to go in those things [naked body scanners].”
“I think you’re exactly right, Alex. I think they are doing this to prepare us.”
“In a free society, I was getting too comfortable being searched… I finally said I can’t do this anymore and keep my sanity. I believe in freedom and I believe nobody has the right to search you for any reason in our country unless they have probable cause that you’ve committed a crime and they’ve got a warrant.”
After the Department of Homeland Security announced the TSA will conduct “enhanced” pat downs of people opting out of naked body scanners following the toner non-bombing fiasco earlier in the month, the Drudge Report teamed up with Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com to cover exploding public resistance to the new effort by the government to normalize the populace to ever-increasing police state tactics.
Resistance to airport Gestapo zones gained critical momentum after pilots and flight attendants opposed searches and threatened to sue the government. “Nationwide outrage against the TSA is not only bringing to light new cases of airport abuse, it’s throwing fresh attention on previous incidents that have been going on for years,” Paul Joseph Watson wrote on Thursday.
Several people have initiated lawsuits against the government, including a 21-year-old college student from Amarillo, Texas, who had her breasts exposed by a TSA goon and a businessman and frequent traveler who is infuriated by TSA workers sexually groping passengers, squeezing breasts and genitals, that he has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Miami requesting an injunction against the TSA to prevent them from touching private areas without reasonable suspicion.
Publicado: 11-21-2010 09:32 PM
TSA has met the enemy — the people
Japan Today ^ | 11/22/2010 | Adam Gellor
How did an agency created to protect the public become the target of so much public scorn?
After nine years of funneling travelers into ever longer lines with orders to have shoes off, sippy cups empty and laptops out for inspection, the most surprising thing about increasingly heated frustration with the U.S.
Transportation Security Administration may be that it took so long to boil over.
The agency, a marvel of nearly instant government when it was launched in the fearful months following the 9/11 terror attacks, started out with a strong measure of public goodwill. Americans wanted the assurance of safety when they boarded planes and entrusted the government with the responsibility.
But in episode after episode since then, the TSA has demonstrated a knack for ignoring the basics of customer relations, while struggling with what experts say is an all but impossible task. It must stand as the last line against unknown terror, yet somehow do so without treating everyone from frequent business travelers to the family heading home to visit grandma as a potential terrorist.
The TSA “is not a flier-centered system. It’s a terrorist-centered system and the travelers get caught in it,” said Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University who has tracked the agency’s effectiveness since it’s creation.
That built-in conflict is at the heart of a growing backlash against the TSA for ordering travelers to step before a full-body scanner that sees through their clothing, undergo a potentially invasive pat-down or not fly at all.
“After 9/11 people were scared and when people are scared they’ll do anything for someone who will make them less scared,” said Bruce Schneier, a Minneapolis security technology expert who has long been critical of the TSA. “But ... this is particularly invasive. It’s strip-searching. It’s body groping. As abhorrent goes, this pegs it.”
A traveler in San Diego, John Tyner, has become an Internet hero after resisting both the scan and the pat-down, telling a TSA screener: “If you touch my junk, I’m gonna have you arrested.” That has helped ignite a campaign urging people to refuse such searches on Nov 24, which immediately precedes Thanksgiving and is one of the year’s busiest travel days.
The outcry, though, “is symptomatic of a bigger issue,” said Geoff Freeman, executive vice president of the U.S. Travel Association, an industry group that says it has received nearly 1,000 calls and e-mails from consumers about the new policy in the last week.
“It’s almost as if it’s a tipping point,” Freeman said. “What we’ve heard from travelers time and again is that there must be a better way.”
Indeed, TSA has a history of stirring public irritation. There was the time in 2004 when Sen Ted Kennedy complained after being stopped five times while trying to board planes because a name similar to his appeared on the agency’s no-fly list. And the time in 2006 when a Maine woman went public with her tale of being ordered by a TSA agent to dump the gel packs she was using to cool bags of breast milk. And the time in 2007, when a Washington, DC woman charged that another TSA agent threatened to have her arrested for spilling water out of her child’s sippy cup.
TSA denied the last, releasing security camera footage to try and prove its point. But that did little to offset the agency’s longtime struggle to explain itself and win traveler cooperation.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. After Congress approved creation of the agency in late 2001, the TSA grew quickly from just 13 employees in January 2002 to 65,000 a year later. In the first year, agency workers confiscated more than 4.8 million firearms, knives and other prohibited items, according to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
But even as the new agency mushroomed, officials at the top, pressured by airlines worried that tighter security would discourage people from flying, looked to the business world for lessons on systems, efficiency and service.
TSA set up “go teams” pairing government employees with executives from companies including Marriott International Inc., The Walt Disney Co., and Intel Corp., to figure out how to move lines of people through checkpoints efficiently and how to deal with angry travelers.
But the agency was working under what Freeman calls “an unachievable mandate.” Congress demanded an agency that eliminated risk. But the risks are always changing, as terrorists devise new methods and government parries. That has led to an agency that is always in crisis mode, constantly adding new policies designed to respond to the last terror plot.
President Barack Obama says he has pushed the TSA to make sure that it is always reviewing screening processes with actual people in mind. “You have to constantly refine and measure whether what we’re doing is the only way to assure the American people’s safety,” Obama said Saturday. “And you also have to think through, are there ways of doing it that are less intrusive.”
TSA operates on the belief that a key to foiling terrorists is to keep them guessing, agency watchers say. But it has never really explained that to a flying public that sees never-ending changes in policies covering carry-on liquids, shoes, and printer cartridges as maddening and pointless inconsistency.
“If you ask what its procedures are, how you screen people, it’s ‘I can’t tell you that because if the bad guys find out they’ll be able to work around the system,’” said Christopher Elliott, an Orlando, Fla-based consumer advocate specializing in travel. “That’s why a lot of what they’ve done has not really gone over well with air travelers. They perceive it as being heavy-handed and often the screeners come across as being very authoritarian.”
Over time, TSA has settled into a pattern of issuing directives with little explanation and expecting they be followed. But increasingly fed-up travelers don’t understand the agency’s sense of urgency and aren’t buying it.
“I don’t think the law enforcement approach is going to work with the American public. You’ve got to explain yourself and reassure people. And they’re not doing it,” Light said.
That goes beyond public relations, experts say. As more and more layers are added to air travel security efforts, it creates difficult and potentially unpopular choices. But the TSA has been unwilling to openly discuss how it arrives at policies or to justify the trade-offs, highlighted by its insistence over the need for the scanners.
“They’re very expensive and what they (TSA officials) should be able to do is answer if it does reduce the risk, how much does it reduce the risk and is it worth it?” said John Mueller, a professor of political science at Ohio State, who has researched the way society reacts to terrorism.
The pushback against the body scanners and pat-downs shows the agency at its worst, Elliott said, issuing a policy that wasn’t properly vetted or explained, but determined to defend it.
Growing dissatisfaction with TSA has even led some airports to consider replacing the agency with private screeners. Such a change is allowed by law, but contractor must follow all the security procedures mandated by the TSA, including body scans and pat-downs.
But frustration with the TSA was building even before the latest furor. In a December 2007 Associated Press-Ipsos poll asking Americans to rank government agencies, it was as unpopular as the Internal Revenue Service. Even so, a poll earlier this month by CBS News found 81% of Americans support the TSA’s use of full-body scanners at airports. The poll, conducted Nov 7-10, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Elliott said that better communication would probably win the TSA more cooperation. But the pushback suggests that a growing number of consumers, particularly frequent travelers, are questioning the premise at the heart of the agency’s existence.
“I think at some point Americans said to themselves, maybe in their collective subconscious…there’s a line here where it’s not just worth it anymore,” he said. “There’s a growing sense that that line has been crossed.”
The Illusion of Safety and the Illustration of Political Correctness
The implementation of the new TSA passenger screening policy is indicative of just how politically correct and moronic our society is becoming.
When Americans fly, we can now choose between being photographed in the nnuedde and being fondled. Yet since 9/11, America has been attacked in the air only by radical Muslim males. Therefore, Homeland Security has concluded that we should search 80-year-old grandma’s bra lines.
What kind of country are we becoming when our citizens are forced to endure such invasive searches without due process in an effort to appease the very group of people who are seeking to destroy our country?
Instead of calling out the real threat, Islamic radicalism, American policy is turning to the politically correct and untrue assumption that everyone is a suspected terrorist. Of course, it is not unusual to find enactments of political correctness accompanied by untruths.
It is slowly becoming evident that this administration is more concerned with presenting an illusion of equality and fairness than it is with the safety of the American public. Unfortunately, the logic in this policy is lacking. Americans know that Muslim men attacked us on 9/11, the underwear bomber was a radical Muslim man, the army base shooter was a radical Muslim, and there have been numerous attempts by radical Muslim men since 9/11 to harm Americans.
So while terrorists visit the State Department, America gives access to our court system to suspected terrorists, CAIR gains influence with Democratic law makers, and mosques are built next to the 9/11 World Trade Center, Americans once again fall victim to the terrorists at the hands of our own government. Even worse is that our government is refusing to call a spade a spade.
Young white men are statistically more likely to be serial killers than Eskimo women between the ages of 60 and 72. Yet why are law enforcement officials refusing to investigate these women each time a serial killer is suspected? The answer is obvious, and the strategies surrounding profiling help to catch these brutal killers.
Americans know that the problem isn’t hijacking, the government knows, and the government knows that Americans know. The problem of terrorist threats consists of radical Muslim men.
The sooner our government wakes up and recognizes the problem that everyone knows exists, the sooner America will emerge safer and stronger.
Even if you disagree with profiling, when Americans are forced to be viewed naked or searched in the most intimate of places when there is a viable, more practical, and more effective way of using resources and ensuring safety, forcing honest Americans selected at pposition to invasive searches is absurd.
But take comfort, America. Children under the age of 12 are not subject to the search. Radical Muslim men can now bring their children with them, arm them with explosives, and blow us up anyway.
|Brad Mahlstedt is a 25 year old law student at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California. He graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Philosophy. He works on his college campus and within his community to advance conservative ideas.|
Publicado: 11-23-2010 09:02 PM
Rep. Maffei concedes, GOP gains 63rd seat
By Emily Goodin - 11/23/10 03:21 PM ET
Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) conceded to his GOP challenger Tuesday afternoon, giving Republicans their 63rd pickup in the House.
He trailed Republican candidate Ann Marie Buerkle by 567 votes in a race that has been too close to call. Lawyers for both campaigns were due in court Wednesday, where Maffei was reportedly considering asking for a hand recount of the more than 200,000 ballots cast in the race.
Instead, he conceded the election.
In his concession statement, the freshman lawmaker defended his voting record.
"The electorate may have changed tremendously from 2008 to 2010 in terms of who turned out to vote, but I kept my pledges to the people who elected me and I will forever be proud of that. Not only do I not apologize for my positions on the stimulus, the health care bill, financial reform, and the credit card bill, but my only regret is that there were not more opportunities to make healthcare more affordable to people and businesses and get more resources to the region for needed public projects — particularly transportation and public schools," he said.
That leaves three House races uncalled: Reps. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.). The Democrats have leads in all three.
Publicado: 01-16-2011 03:35 PM
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said Friday that most illegal immigrants coming across the Mexico/US border are smuggling drugs; a labor union that represents almost 20,000 border patrol agents heavily disputed Brewer’s comments.
"Well, we all know that the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now becoming drug mules," Brewer said. "They're coming across our borders in huge numbers. The drug cartels have taken control of the immigration.”
"So they are criminals. They're breaking the law when they are trespassing and they're criminals when they pack the marijuana and the drugs on their backs," Brewer said.
Reporters asked Brewer to explain her comments and she replied that many illegal immigrants crossing the border are coming to look for work but "are accosted, and they become subjects of the drug cartels."
In a CNN interview Friday, T.J. Bonner of the National Border Patrol Council said Brewer's claims were "clearly not the case." Bonner said there are some illegal immigrants coming across the border that carry drugs, and of those some say that they felt pressure from the drug cartels, but that the percentage is low. And if it was the case, there would be more drug related prosecutions.
Bonner said that her comments don't "comport with reality -- that's the nicest way to put it."
After making the public comments earlier on Friday, Brewer later released a statement that read:
"The simple truth is that the majority of human smuggling in our state is under the direction of the drug cartels, which are by definition smuggling drugs," Brewer's said.
"It is common knowledge that Mexican drug cartels have merged human smuggling with drug trafficking."
Brewer said the "human rights violations that have taken place (by the cartels) victimizing immigrants and their families are abhorrent."
Brewer’s new controversial immigration law is scheduled to begin July 29, and it has some people around the country outraged saying that it supports racism.
One week ago, a senior official at the White House announced that Obama administration lawyers will file a legal challenge against the Arizona immigration law within the next month, according to a breaking news report from CNN. This came after Hillary Clinton stated that a lawsuit would be brought against the state in a televised interview. Lawyers are expected to fill the legal challenge shortly before the new law would take effect on July 29. For more about that story, click here.
President Obama expressed his dislike for the bill and spoke about comprehensive immigration legislation, which would include a pathway for citizenship for some people who are in the country illegally. To read and see more about President Obama’s reaction to the bill, click here.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer met with President Obama on June 3 about Arizona’s concerns, and Brewer came out of the meeting sounded positive about Obama’s response. During the meeting, Obama said that the issue of a lawsuit against the state of Arizona for its new law would be up to the Department of Justice. For more on that story,click here.