Friday, November 26, 2010

This Is Not Going Away

President Barack Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole think the outcry and anger over their "security measures" will soon fade. They think the air travelers will soon accept the procedures they have imposed. I think they're wrong.

Things have gotten people upset before, but they haven't responded in ways like this. Here is one thing that happened at the Albuquerque airport.

Those are military veterans — the man on the left was in the Marine Corps, the woman was in the Army. Their service, and others', was to protect our rights. And they are rightly angered and frustrated to have our own government treating them and all of us as if we were the terrorists. The Air Force, too — also at Albuquerque.

This isn't going away. It's going to get worse — for the bureaucrats that are doing this to us.

(Photos from the Albuquerque Journal, story here.)

UPDATE: More evident TSA stupidity. And, of course, we have to read about it in an English newspaper, because our own main-stream media insist on living in the Administration's pocket doing this Administration's bidding.

From that story, too, as well as from others like this, we learn that TSA is so completely uncaring about the safety of the flying public that they don't even bother to change gloves between gropings. They're perfectly happy to contaminate subsequent gropees with whatever they picked up from prior ones — animal, vegetable, or mineral. That kind of disregard for public health and safety would subject normal people to large fines and prison terms. It should do no less for these people and their bosses.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The People, Revolting

After I wrote my prior post on the TSA's offensive new procedures, I saw where others had weighed in on the topic. Herewith, a small selection — a trio — of representative comments:

  • Scott Johnson at Powerline:
    “The TSA is bound by a form of political correctness that has long rendered it a joke. With its newly implemented scanning and patdown procedures, however, the TSA has become something worse than a joke. It has become intrusive and humiliating to a degree that is difficult to accept.” ... “In its absurd intrusiveness and glaring incompetence, the TSA has become a perfect metaphor for the Obama administration. Thus the revolt.”

  • Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post:
    “The junk man’s revolt marks the point at which a docile public declares that it will tolerate only so much idiocy.”

  • Security and terrorism expert Bruce Schneier, on the TSA Scans:
    “Q: Is this security theater?
    “A: 100 percent. It won't catch anybody.”

Meanwhile, the TSA response is to up the ante:

“The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is warning that any would-be commercial airline passenger who enters an airport checkpoint and then refuses to undergo the method of inspection designated by TSA will not be allowed to fly and also will not be permitted to simply leave the airport.” (emphasis in the original)

Nor was this an idle threat. There has already been a man arrested and marched through two separate airport terminals in handcuffs and underwear by TSA thugs. His crime: He demonstrated that TSA was only interested in its defined process and not in results. He stripped down to his underwear, which “left nothing to the imagination,” so TSA could verify nothing illegal was being carried without him having to be groped. “But that wasn’t enough for the TSA supervisor who was called to the scene and asked me to put my clothes on so I could be properly patted down.” In other words, TSA insisted on coercing him into submitting to a sexual assault (which TSA pretends isn't a sexual assault because it's being done in an airport by the government). In this and its other actions (like strip searches of children), TSA has demonstrated it's just a bureaucracy of thugs.

And our Dear Leader is less than sympathetic:

“Barack Obama admitted today during his NATO Question and Answer session that he does not worry about the TSA gropings because he does not fly commercial. (Thank you for enlightening us on that, Mr. President. We almost forgot your were the Commander in Chief.) But, he added that he had no problem with ordinary Americans getting groped by TSA agents at airports.”

Obama's comments produced some interesting responses on that posting:

  • Always the false choices with this chump. Sure, build a coal plant, if you want, but you’ll go bankrupt. Sure, go ahead and opt out of government-healthcare, you’ll be fined. Want to fly? Sure, get sexually assaulted. Typical fascist bs from a typical fascist loser. I’m not accepting this “conditioning” for a totalitarian police state. Period.

  • It’s better that a million innocent children get groped than one Muslim extremist get profiled. It’s in the Consitution! Somewhere…

  • Has the nation gone bat sh** crazy? Where are all of the leftards who were screaming about losing constitutional rights during the Bush administration over the Patriot Act? Where are they? Do absolutely none of them fly or are they all closet gropers or exhibitionists and voyeurs?

  • As far as the TSA having the authority to do this, well they have the same authority to do it as the EPA has to refuse to give operating permits to 80% of the oil refineries. All of this over reaching from the executive into the private lives and private businesses to keep the masses in line.

  • You Know How to Combat the march to 1984? ………. 1776 !!!

I'm with Scott Johnson, Charles Krauthammer, and Bruce Schneier. These new TSA policies and procedures are political “security theater”, completely worthless in providing any actual security. The public “will tolerate only so much idiocy.” “Thus the revolt.”

The only solution is to disband the Transportation Security Agency and turn their responsibilities over to someone who at least has some concept of what the responsibility entails.

Obama's Manhood

James Carville tossed off a one-liner: “If Hillary gave up one of her balls and gave it to Obama, he’d have two.” (Actually, he'd probably only have one.) The White House was predictably outraged. To which Carville had a responst: “If I offended anybody, I’m not sorry and I don’t apologize.

Related, from Hudnall & Lash:

(Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

PC Run Amok + Bureaucratic Overreach

“Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.”

It may be a fluke, but I feel a little prescient. Almost a year ago, I asked “Since this guy had his PETN explosive in his underwear, will we have to start taking ours off for TSA?” The answer is apparently yes, though TSA is doing is doing this with a combination of (a) technology (full-body scanners) and (b) “enhanced pat-downs” — in a coercive environment — in place of traditional strip searches. In other words, TSA is making their employees into a combination of peepers and gropers, both varieties of sex offenders who would have to register with law enforcement (and would face jail time) if they weren't government employees.

I also said “It looks to me like the bureaucrats of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) really don't know what they're doing. As a result, they are mainly just hassling ordinary passengers without doing what's needed to make us safer.” And I see no reason to change that assessment.

The bottom line is this: Limited by its bureaucrats' ideology, the TSA has no idea what to do to make actual improvements in aviation safety. So they opt for the “politically correct” solution, thereby harassing (sexually and otherwise) millions of passengers they already have reason to know are innocent while detecting no hijackers or terrorists. That's bureaucratic overreach at its best.

I would categorize this as deliberate stupidity. Somebody obviously said words like “Do something, even if it's wrong.”

As usual, Trever identifies the situation best.

It looks to me like the only solution is to disband the Transportation Security Agency and turn their responsibilities over to someone who at least has some concept of what the responsibility entails — like concentrating on who gets on the plane, instead of assaulting everyone because TSA won't focus on actual (real and projected) threats.

That way, too, we can get away from the combination of political correctness run amok combined with bureaucratic overreach — the current toxic combination that gives a program that fulfills bureaucracy's promise by being offensive, stupid, and ineffective.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Veterans Day (a week late)

Remember Veterans' Day — thank all the veterans for their service.

The posting is late, though the thought was on time.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Election of 2010

After all the rallies and all the campaign appearances, after all the campaign signs and billboards, after all the political commercials on radio and TV, the election of 2010 finally arrived. That's the one day the politicians take a back seat to the nation's voters. It's when the citizens of the country have their say. Trever (of the Albuquerque Journal) puts it this way:

And the voters had their say. I doubt anyone was completely happy. In this state, for example, the Republicans were happy to end the era of two-term Governor Bill Richardson by defeating his hand-picked successor and serving Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, and by taking the office of the Secretary of State (defeating the incumbent) for the first time since 1930. But the Democrats were happy to re-elect the Attorney General, Treasurer, and Auditor.

Both sides were unhappy with the Congressional results. The Republicans knocked off the most inoffensive of the state's three first-term Democrats in Congress (Harry Teague in the second district). The more offensive incumbents, Martin Heinrich in the first district (Albuquerque) and Ben Ray Lujan in the third (the northern district) won re-election.

In general, I agree with Trever's take here, too:

But there's more. Here in New Mexico, we were going to make history no matter how the election for governor turned out. Both candidates were women, and New Mexico has never elected a woman governor. But in this election, we went further and elected the nation's first Hispanic woman governor, Susana Martinez, who until now has been the district attorney of Doña Ana county (Las Cruces area) in the southern part of the state. (Her husband, soon to be the state's First Gent, is about to retire as the county's undersheriff.)

By the way, I don't think it should be a surprise that Governor-Elect Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Governor-Elect Brian Sandoval in Nevada are both Republicans (and both defeated gringos to win their offices). Nor should it be a surprise that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Governor-Elect Nikki Haley, the nation's two Indian-American governors, are also Republicans. (Yes, I'm sure there are others.)

I'm beginning to see a pattern here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Obama Has Convinced Me

I must confess — President Obama has convinced me, with the help of his minions in the Congress. And so I take up the mantra popularized by Barack Obama. I call for throwing out the corrupt bastards, including all of my state's Congressional representatives. (We don't have a Senate seat up this year.) That is, I call for CHANGE.