‘We hate obese passengers and people with personal hygiene issues:’ Now ‘abused’ TSA staff vent their anger at patdown searches

Furious security staff have hit back at pat down searches in place across America, claiming that they hated dealing with obese travellers and those with personal hygiene problems.

There has already been a angry passenger backlash against the measures introduced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

But after being contacted by a travel blog, 17 staff have also expressed their disgust after the policy was put in place last month.

The staff said that they hated having to carry out the body searches, with one claiming that it was worse for him than the passenger.

‘It is not comfortable to come to work knowing full well that my hands will be feeling another man’s private parts, their butt, their inner thigh,’ one told the BoardingArea blog.

‘Even worse is having to try and feel inside the flab rolls of obese passengers and we seem to get a lot of obese passengers!’

Another said he had a huge problem dealing with a ‘large number of passengers… daily that have a problem understanding what personal hygieneFur is.’

All the staff said that they had experienced a high level of personal abuse while carrying out the pat-downs.

‘Being a TSO means often being verbally abused, you let the comments roll off and check the next person,’ one said.

‘However, when a woman refuses the scanner then comes to me and tells me that she feels like I am molesting her, that is beyond verbal abuse.

‘I asked the woman if she thought I like touching other women all day and she told me that I probably did or I wouldn’t be with the TSA.

Don’t Touch My junk

The controversy over new airport screening procedures has continued to grow. No doubt it will explode over the long holiday weekend, particularly is planned protests involve even a fraction of the flying public. The TSA and Homeland Security have dug in their heels and defended the new procedures as necessary to ensure our safety. If a majority of Americans begin to strenuously object or even refuse, there is the possibility of a real confrontation over these methods. Even more importantly, it is getting people to talk about government intrusion in a way they have not considered before. It is the various levels in which these procedures have struck a nerve that need to be explored.

At some airports, there are two choices given. There are the new electronic screening machines which display your naked body to some minimum wage security guard, some of whom have been getting pretty excited about their job. If you choose not to display yourself in ways only your spouse should be privy to, don’t want to be radiated in ways the government assures you are safe (we believe everything they say) or the TSA decides you need to be further investigated, then you will receive an “aggressive” patdown. This involves touching and squeezing in areas that, again, only our spouse should touch and squeeze. It is applied to the very young, the very old, the infirm, everyone.

So why does this bother us so much? After all, we don’t want another terrorist with a bomb in his shoe, underwear or anywhere else to get on an airplane, do we? Of course not. However, the way we are going about it is insulting on a variety of levels. On the surface, we know it is a waste of time and resources to treat four year olds, nuns and cancer survivors with prosthetic devices or urine bags as potential terrorists. Yet we have Janet Nepalitano refusing to answer the question as to whether or not they would use such techniques on a Muslim woman in a burka. That offends our basic sense of fairness. We also know that any terrorist who chose to do so could walk across our southern border. If we applied a fraction of the effort on our border we do in the airport, we would catch a lot more terrorists and criminals. So far the TSA has caught…..zero.

It goes far beyond fairness, however, because if we were treated the same as the Muslims, that would not make us feel any better about it. We have a tradition in this country that states people are innocent until proven guilty. These aggressive screenings, however, are just the opposite. Everyone, be they a man, woman, child, elderly, or infirm are assumed guilty until the TSA can satisfy themselves, by any means they choose to employ, of our innocence. Remember, this is not a private interaction but the government that is making this assumption of our guilt, a very dangerous situation. It is not unprecedented, however. In dealing with the IRS, you are also assumed guilty unless you can prove your innocence. Unfortunately, this is a growing trend in our government. In our current topsy-turvy world, it is now the government that is suspicious and distrustful of us rather than ‘we the people’ being distrustful of them. That, my friends, is the characteristic of a police state. ‘We the people’ live in fear of a government that subjects us to whatever procedures they deem necessary to assure themselves at any moment that we are not a threat; not to our fellow citizens, but to the government itself. That is not America and should be unacceptable to us.

Finally, for those who know our Constitution, this is a blatant violation of our fourth amendment rights. “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….” On the surface, is it “unreasonable” to subject a three year old to an aggressive pat down? Most of us think so. But this issue goes much deeper than what we may consider “unreasonable” or the “probable cause” as previously discussed. The fourth amendment deals with the government’s interaction with us, not requirements between private parties. If an airline, a private company, wants to assure themselves you are not going to blow up their plane, they have every right to use whatever method they choose to assure themselves you will not. You, of course, have every right to find another carrier or method to get to your destination. The government, however, has inserted itself in that contract and requires you to satisfy them of your innocence before you get on any airplane. And you can be assured the first time a bus, subway or train is attacked, it will be required there as well. Now your freedom to privately contract for travel is subject to government permission.

The purpose, however, of the fourth amendment is to establish a very important principle concerning our relationship with the state. This principle is one of ownership. The fourth amendment was meant to answer the question “who owns your effects, papers, home…you?” The answer is you do, the government does not. Unless the government can demonstrate that you have used your property or have taken some personal action that has violated the rights of another person, they have no authority to search or seize. That is because the foundational document of our noble experiment, the Declaration of Independence, states the principle that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are unalienable rights. That means that we, not the government, own our lives, our bodies, and therefore they have no authority to violate our person without just cause. We, not the government, own our liberty, our freedom of movement, our ability to contract for services and make any choices whatsoever regarding how we live our lives as long as the results of those choices do not infringe on the rights of others to do the same. We, not the government, are responsible for our pursuit of happiness which necessitates our right to the property we have justly acquired in that pursuit.

These aggressive screenings are simply the latest evidence that the government thinks just the opposite. If it assumes it owns you, if you are merely an object, a cog in the wheel whose usefulness is tied only to your perceived ability to contribute to the state, then it will see nothing wrong with violating your person. Again, this is simply the latest abuse, albeit the most obviously intrusive only because it is not paper or property but a government agent actually placing his hands on our or our child’s genitals. The Kelo decision by the supreme court is the most recent example of the fact that our homes are not our castles but our property is only ours as long as the government has no better use for it or we pay our user fee (property taxes). There are the property seizures related to the so called “war on drugs” in which the hurdle of suspicion is so low any property can be seized. The abuses of the IRS are well documented and little due process is involved in those situations. These are only a few examples of how our persons and property are treated as useful objects to government and not as precious beings of intrinsic value to be treated with reverence and respect.

The fact that many Americans are revolted by these procedures is a good thing. The Tea Parties were an awakening against the general encroachment and fiscal irresponsibility of government. Now we have a specific and personal example of government abuse we can all relate to. Before the American Revolution, the Boston Massacre served a similar function. We are really beginning to wake up. If the sons of liberty can use this situation to educate their fellow Americans about their lost heritage, encourage their distrust of government and restore their appreciation for their God-given rights, we may yet reverse our slide into totalitarianism. We may finally be coming to understand that government is not the final authority, we are. We are under no obligation to surrender our rights just because the government says we must. In fact, when the government asks, or even worse, expects, us to do so, we should adamantly refuse. It is time to reassert our inherent value as human beings and refuse to be reduced to worthless government cogs to be used and abused as it sees fit.

http://www.patricksamuels.com

What’s good for the goose…

Last year when many Americans shied away from getting a H1N1 flu shot because of fear and suspicion that the shot wasn’t safe, President Obama stepped up to the plate. “People need to understand that this vaccine is safe,” he said. “Michelle and I just got the shots ourselves.” Accompanying your words of bravado was a photo, released by the White House, of you rolling up your sleeve to get the flu shot. And two months before you got a shot, you bragged that your girls were two of the first children to get the shot.

If he were willing to set the example for my children and me over a fast-tracked flu shot, surely he should be willing to do the same regarding the TSA’s enhanced pat-downs. Willingly and bravely he rolled up his sleeve to get the shot and gave a look that said, “See, that didn’t hurt a bit, nor did it kill me.” A White House released photo of him braving an enhanced pat-down would go a long ways. After all, true leaders lead by example, you know.

Fear over flu shots seem so passé now that the government is telling Americans that naked imaging and groping by TSA agents will keep us safe. Really? Keep us safe? For many of us, the jury is still out. When we see images of a nun being groped under her habit, hear of a pat-down causing urine to spill out of a cancer-survivor’s urostomy bag, and see a little boy’s naked chest being touched, we are prone to wonder. We wonder just how many Muslim extremists are hearing about and seeing the same images while rubbing their hands together in satisfaction as they laugh uncontrollably and then get back to planning their next attack.

Americans are frustrated. We’re suspicious. We’re even a little scared. We don’t want a stranger to touch our private parts, nor those of our children. But if Obama would set the example like he did last year, perhaps we would follow his lead. Last year he rolled up a sleeve. This year all you need to do is spread your legs. Then after he’s received his enhanced pat-down, he could turn towards the camera and give us a look that says, “See, that didn’t hurt a bit.”

And since Michelle and the children were used as examples to show how safe flu shots were, it would be so helpful and encouraging to me and my children to see pictures of them getting an enhanced pat-down too. Perhaps one of them could even get a cavity search done, all in the name of public safety of course.

Questions:

Would you stand by and just watch as a TSA employee molested a family member? Is the government trying to create an atmosphere that breeds violence? Is President Obama trying to create a national crisis to make himself “relevant” again?

SKorea Scrambles Jets After NKorea Border Attack

North Korea fired artillery barrages onto a South Korean island near their disputed border Tuesday, setting buildings alight and prompting South Korea to return fire and scramble fighter jets. At least one South Korean marine was killed and 13 wounded, the military said.

The skirmish came amid high tension over North Korea’s claim that it has a new uranium enrichment facility and just six weeks after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il unveiled his youngest son Kim Jong Un as his heir apparent.

One South Korean marine was killed, three were seriously wounded and 10 slightly wounded, a Joint Chiefs of Staff official said.

YTN TV said several houses were on fire and shells were still falling on Yeonpyeong island, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) west of the coast. The station broadcast pictures of thick columns of black smoke rising from the island, which has a population of 1,200 to 1,300.

President Lee Myung-bak ordered officials to “sternly respond” to North Korea’s action but also called on officials to make sure that the “situation would not escalate,” according to a presidential official. He asked not to be identified, citing the issue’s sensitivity.

Lee was holding a security meeting in a presidential situation room, the official said.

Read more here.

Federal judge delays decision on Oklahoma’s Sharia ban

The Oklahoman reports that on Monday U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange (a Clinton appointee) extended the temporary restraining order she issued two weeks ago which prevented the board of elections from certifying the passage of an amendment to the state constitution which would bar the use of Sharia or international law to decide cases in Oklahoma state courts. Miles-LaGrange said that she will make her ruling on the case next Monday after considering the issues.

The citizens of Oklahoma passed the amendment (State Question 755) on November 2 with over 70% of the vote. The suit was brought before Miles-LaGrange by Muneer Awad the executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations who initially chose to represent himself. According to the Tulsa World, Awad has since retained Michael Salem as his attorney. Salem has disparaged the authors of the amendment as “xenophobic merchants of fear and hate.”

Assistant Attorney General Scott Boughton said that Awad had not been harmed by the measure, adding that the plaintiff has a huge hurdle to overcome in seeking to ask that the will of the voters be overturned.

The right of the people of Oklahoma to amend their own constitution in a free and democratic manner is being challenged by U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange. The real issue here is whether activist judges like Miles-LaGrange should be allowed to continue to legislate from the bench as a means of furthering their own liberal agenda at the expense of the will of the people.

Jim Rutledge Endorses Sam Hale for Chairman of the MD GOP

Dear Members of the Central Committees of the MD GOP,

I am endorsing Sam Hale for the Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party. Please take a moment to learn why I am asking you to pick Sam Hale.

First, Sam Hale is a proven leader at the grassroots, people to people level of persuasion. He is the founder of the Maryland Society of Patriots which has been a catalyst calling freedom-minded citizens to action. Speaking before the Maryland Society of Patriots became a much desired stop for campaigns in 2010, and the appearance was a test of metal for many candidates.

Second, Sam Hale is honest and transparent. You know exactly where you stand with Sam – straight talk from an intelligent mind.

Third, Sam Hale has a work ethic second to none. He devoted himself to the cause of liberty and constitutional conservatism selflessly during the 2010 campaigns. I marvel at his energy and drive. He threw himself into AFP’s Now or Never Tour spurring on the electorate and firing up the base in the weeks and days leading up to the election. His energy is badly needed to move us forward in Maryland.

Fourth, Sam Hale is an optimist and a visionary. He lives in Montgomery County in an enclave of socialists, liberals, and proponents of dependency upon big government. Yet he is not daunted in his passion for turning the tide for freedom in Maryland. He will fight for a culture of life and opportunity.

Fifth, Sam Hale is a Christian who understands the call to civic activism, who is not willing to sit idly by while others may simply hope and pray things will get better. He puts his faith into action. He is motivated by a love for his neighbors who for far too long have been enslaved by the failed policies of socialism. He is genuinely comfortable with Marylanders of all races, an attribute we need in order to make progress in Maryland.

Sixth, Sam Hale is young and well educated. He earned his MBA and is 25 years old. In America’s great wars, a 25 year old was considered an old man and often a battlefield officer. Freedom has many times depended on the fresh and courageous leadership of men Sam’s age. Many times I have heard that Republicans need a plan to attract younger voters. I agree, and electing Sam Hale as Chair will send a message that the Maryland Republican Party is ready to put their words into action. Youth and energy attract youth and energy. A vote for Sam Hale is a vote for a new day in Maryland Republican politics.

Seventh, Sam Hale is independent from the influences of the Washington DC establishment. He has not been put up by anybody, owes no favors, and has no allegiances to the ruling class. He has no business interests that could be affected adversely by the democratic party machine.

In conclusion, I am asking for your vote for Sam Hale for Chairman. Maryland is a long term project, and Sam Hale can lead us on a path that will transform Maryland politics.

Thank you for your valuable time and careful consideration.

Jim Rutledge, White Hall, Maryland

Ethanol subsidies set to expire at year’s end

The end of the year is upon us and all eyes (and ears) are waiting to see what the Congress will do about the tax picture. But there is another item on the end-of-year horizon that is just as important a test for Congress. It is flying under the radar, so there is not as much discussion about it, but it can be just as telling as the tax cut extension issue.

At the end of the year both the ethanol tariff and its companion tax credit are due to expire. Will the fresh GOP members and chastised Dems in Congress let them expire, or will the lobbyists win again?

The 54-cent tariff on imported ethanol protects American farmers from competition from Brazilian ethanol producers; the 45-cent tax credit to oil companies drains up to $6 billion a year from the general fund. Both are an additional tax on the consumer since they raise the price of gasoline. More than that-they raise the price of corn worldwide, and therefore of beef, poultry and other livestock.

The consequence (unintended of course) is a shortage of and higher prices for food as well as fuel. (A corollary unintended consequence is that the use of ethanol to reduce the use of fossil fuels is counterproductive. The production and transportation of ethanol is a high energy enterprise using huge amounts of fossil fuel for fertilizer in growing, for production, and for transportation to the pump since it is too corrosive to be transported through pipelines.)

Even the chief tree hugger, Al Gore, considers the support for ethanol a mistake:

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore said support for corn-based ethanol in the United States was “not a good policy”,

One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president.”

There will be tremendous lobbying pressure on every member of Congress to renew this egregious tax. All that Congress needs to do is ignore the pressure, ignore the deadline, and let these twin evils die. Can they do it? We will see how principled the GOP really is.

We Won’t Fly

We Won’t Fly

and they have a plan:

The Plan is Simple

1. If you absolutely, positively must fly, opt out of the scanners. Do it to protect your health and privacy.
2. If you can avoid flying, don’t fly. Hit the airlines in the pocketbook until the scanners and gropers are gone. Make the airlines work for us.
3. Raise holy hell. Register your disapproval of the scanners and gropers to your airline, your hotel and all government officials who claim to work for you. Educate your community.

The first step in any revolution is that someone must say no. Someone has.

Read more at professorbainbridge.