Lemkin

Gone To Since 1984

And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.

George Carlin

  • November 29, 2010 11:12 am

    A Waste of Money and Time

    Bruce Schneier gives a cogent opinion:

    Exactly two things have made airplane travel safer since 9/11: reinforcing the cockpit door, and convincing passengers they need to fight back. Everything else has been a waste of money. Add screening of checked bags and airport workers and we’re done. Take all the rest of the money and spend it on investigation and intelligence.

    This is exactly right, though it clearly elides the cesspool that our investigation and intelligence apparatus currently is, a critical problem that the government shows zero interest in taking on.
    The 9/11 Commission pointed it out and the reaction has been to add another layer or two of middle managers and most definitely not to drain the swamp and rebuild a reactive and reasonably transparent national intelligence apparatus. Easier just to scan our junk, I guess. Kick all other cans down the road and then roundly blame the other party when the next big (but plainly avoidable) intelligence failure happens.

  • November 23, 2010 10:35 am

    The Authoritarian Media

      Los Angeles Times:  Shut up and be scanned
      Boston Globe:  The new "enhanced" patdown by airport screeners has sparked an unfortunate backlash among some fliers and privacy advocates
      Springfield Republican:  Let's consider these searches the 21st-century equivalent of a WWII rationing card.
      Spokane Spokesman-Review:  TSA is on our side. [...] [M]odest traveler inconvenience is a reasonable price to pay for a little added peace of mind.
  • November 22, 2010 10:43 am

    John Boehner, Man of the People

    John Boehner flies commercial, just like you and me:

    As he left Washington on Friday, Mr. Boehner headed across the Potomac River to Reagan National Airport, which was bustling with afternoon travelers. But there was no waiting in line for Mr. Boehner, who was escorted around the metal detectors and body scanners, and taken directly to the gate.

    I really don’t see what all the hubbub is about. These filthy proles are just never happy with anything we give them.

  • November 20, 2010 11:02 pm

    TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View

    Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me, said in my presence as I patted passengers down. These comments are painful and demoralizing, one day is bad enough, but I have to come back tomorrow, the next day and the day after that to keep hearing these comments. If something doesn’t change in the next two weeks I don’t know how much longer I can withstand this taunting. I go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.

    It’s just as bad for them as you might imagine. Read the whole thing.

    (via Instapaper)

  • November 19, 2010 2:18 pm

    Another Good Time

    jasencomstock:

    lemkin:

    This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.

    Well worth a read to see just how far the TSA goes, even when dealing with soldiers returning from one of our forever wars.
    Setting the CIA aside for the moment, I’m hard pressed to come up with a better example of a rogue and seemingly uncontrollable agency in the federal government.

    Also: I’d wager this is likely to be the one and only link to Red State you’re ever going to see here. So live it up.

    Nope. Never had someone in Uniform do the terrorism. Never.  Ever.

    If a domestic terrorist chooses to execute his (or her) cunning plan by enlisting, deploying for some period of years into an active war-zone, surviving said deployment, and then flying back on a plane full of other military personnel at which point the stunning plan can become known: to seize control of and crash the airplane on which they are all flying using a pair of nail clippers, then so be it.
    I’m sorry, but I think that’s a level of “risk” with which a free society can live.

  • November 19, 2010 1:19 pm

    Another Good Time

    This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.

    Well worth a read to see just how far the TSA goes, even when dealing with soldiers returning from one of our forever wars.
    Setting the CIA aside for the moment, I’m hard pressed to come up with a better example of a rogue and seemingly uncontrollable agency in the federal government.

    Also: I’d wager this is likely to be the one and only link to Red State you’re ever going to see here. So live it up.

  • November 18, 2010 11:11 am

    In which Ron Paul and I Agree

    Imagine if the political elites in our country were forced to endure the same conditions at the airport as business travelers, families, senior citizens, and the rest of us. Perhaps this problem could be quickly resolved if every cabinet secretary, every member of Congress, and every department head in the Obama administration were forced to submit to the same degrading screening process as the people who pay their salaries.

    The American Traveler Dignity Act. Good on you, Ron.
    But: more to the point, it would be nice to see the conversation moved from being specifically about the scanners to a more general “the scanners are an entirely pointless invasion of deeply personal rights” realm. These scanners are a multi-million dollar boondoggle entirely aimed at stopping the underpants bomber of last year. They will do nothing whatever to stop the cecum bomber of 2011 or the vagina explosions of 2013. That we refuse to have this conversation, ever, is precisely why the next attack will succeed. Better to mark such a memo “classified” and hope nobody goes looking for it. Same with the memo on how these porno-scans are in fact saved and will inevitably get out; I’m surprised we don’t already have an airport scan of some celebrity. Likewise classify any health-related studies. And classify anything about the impact on pilots forced to go through this entirely needless screen daily for the rest of their careers. In the next fabulous version, your junk will be super-imposed on a stick figure! Won’t that be better for everyone? Left unasked, of course, is is this thing likely to stop any attack ever mounted, planned or attempted, past or present? Because it’s not clear it would have detected the very attack they point to when demanding the scans occur. It certainly wouldn’t have prevented 9/11; that fact is absolutely clear. I’m quite sure that any systematic testing of the assertion that these scanners offer no measurable improvement, if it’s been tested at all, is classified. File next to “what we deem as incredibly dangerous liquids in volumes greater than 3oz shall be stored in trash barrels directly adjacent to large concentration of passengers waiting in line.”

    Listening to the tone of the recent hearings, I was unsurprised and yet still deeply troubled to hear that, mostly, the top concern was that this approach (apart from any particular utility or drawback) at least makes observant Muslims uncomfortable. I especially loved the back-slappy interchange between TSA chief John Pistole and John Ensign (R-Nev) who apparently agree that the most important part of any security technology or invasion of privacy is that it irritate Muslims. Does extending this underlying theory mean that if I agree to shave while in line I can thus skip the porno-scans?

    Just as troubling, though, was the easy acceptance of the entirely false equivalency of “screened” airplane (using millimeter wave) and “unscreened” airplane (not using) and the relative preference a theoretical passenger would assert. Yes, we know a lot about everyone’s junk as they get on that “screened” plane, but it’s not actually any safer. And so far as I can tell from the transcripts I’ve found, not one Senator raised the issue of actual security improvement through this technology. In fact, they’ve only added a particularly demeaning bit of security theater to the already frothy mix of half-assed fixes to yesterday’s problems. And I guess that’s all we’re after anymore: The terrorists are coming; look busy!

    It’s facile but still telling to point out that around 400,000 people have died in car accidents since 9/10/2001. About 3500 have died in domestic terror attacks since 9/10/2001. Feel free to compare and contrast national auto safety policy to national airline security policy.

  • November 4, 2010 9:57 am

    TSA implements Newspeak

      TSA:  Take everything out of your pockets. If you have a wallet, take it out. A handkerchief, out.
      Passenger:  Can you explain the reason for the new process?
      TSA:  [This is nothing new.] We have always done this.
      Passenger:  [I did what they told me to. But on the other side of the metal detector, asked the head-screener]: ‘Could you explain to me why the procedure is now different at this airport, like having to remove a wallet that never set off the metal detector?’
      TSA:  No, no. The process has always been the same, at every airport.
      Lemkin:  There is no process, there are no rules, the entire operation is so clearly defined by the whim of the officials at every particular security point. And now they want to require images of your naked body as prerequisite for boarding a plane. When does it stop? When will people have had enough? What happens when a bomb or a weapon is smuggled aboard inside a bodily cavity? http://yhoo.it/cgw7o2