The U.S. Transportation Security Administration is one of those federal agencies that tends to inspire intense reactions among the traveling public. It’s a bureaucracy that interacts with millions of passengers each day, requiring their shoes, jackets, laptops—and time.
Virtually all this occurs at airports, with about 80 percent of the agency’s $7.4 billion budget spent on aviation security. Only 2 percent of the TSA’s funding goes to surface transportation, according to a report by the Office of Inspector General earlier this month. Congress is looking to change that.
Several U.S. senators want the TSA to focus more attention and resources on rail, highway, and marine transportation, which would mean greater security oversight at such places as Amtrak stations and Megabus coach stops. A bipartisan bill introduced Thursday by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) would require the TSA to use a risk-based security model for these transport modes and to budget money based on those risks. It would require a wider use of the agency’s terrorist watch list by train operators and more detailed passenger manifests along with tighter screening of marine employees. The legislation also would increase the TSA’s canine use by as many as 70 dog-handler teams for surface transportation.
But, but…terrorism! They’re protecting us!
Because there are so many attempts to take buses and trains to Cuba! And there have been so many domestic attacks on boats, buses and trains.
WHAT? There haven’t?
I remember a time when there were few restrictions in public transportation regarding explosives and firearms, and very little occurred. People could purchase firearms through the mail! And the citizenry was not searched wholesale without benefit of a warrant or active crime. And they could travel relatively unmolested.
Government has used the excuse of airline hijackings and drunk drivers in the 70’s for ‘checkpoints’, and ‘no-knock’ warrants for ‘the drug war’, and now in this century, terrorist attacks on people, planes, buildings and infrastructure to create the PATRIOT Act and NDAA to further erode our civil rights. Rampant surveillance, secret prisons, secret courts and suspension of Constitutional Rights are the order of the day.
Emphasis on ORDER.
The TSA has stopped exactly HOW MANY attacks, now?
That’s right. ZERO, ZIP, BUPKIS.
And how many rights have we given up?
And now, the government is trying to steal more!
Black men who try to avoid an encounter with Boston police by fleeing may have a legitimate reason to do so — and should not be deemed suspicious — according to a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Citing Boston police data and a 2014 report by the ACLU of Massachusetts that found blacks were disproportionately stopped by the city’s police, the state’s highest court on Tuesday threw out the gun conviction of Jimmy Warren.
Okay. I get if you come from a fractured subculture wherein male leadership is largely lacking, and you are poor and a minority, and have been taught to fear ‘the man’, you might want to run if confronted.
Even if you hadn’t done anything.
BUT, the idea that fleeing the police (IF you are a Black man) your flight cannot be viewed as suspicious(!?)
Not to mention the whole racist component – What about a Black woman? Or a Latino? Or a White? Or someone of mixed race?
I see a whole can of worms being opened here for additional court cases…
Once again, activist judges take the reins, in lieu of those who swore to protect and defend The Constitution.
What? They DID swear?
I’m not surprised. So have Presidents, Congressmen, Senators, FBI heads and Supreme Court Justices over the past
60 70 100 years.
And no one (of any power) has called them on it!
Rose Mofford, the last ‘beloved’ politician in Arizona (per Arizona Republic columnist Ed Montini), passed yesterday at age 94.
A Democrat, she spent her life in public service. Born in Globe, a mining town to the East of Phoenix, she was an All-American softball player in high school, and turned down an offer to play professional basketball with The All-American Red Heads. She married (and subsequently divorced) a Phoenix Police Captain. They remained friends.
She became a secretary to the State Treasurer, then secretary to the Secretary of State. Ultimately, she was elected to that office, then became Governor upon impeachment of embattled Governor Evan Mecham.
She chose not to run for office at the end of her term, and retired to private life. (above via Wikipedia)
She was famous for being professional, personable, and answering her own telephone. And that ubiquitous beehive hairdo!
I had a run-in with her one day. Or rather she with me. 🙂
I was at the Arizona Department of Transportation (this was during my career as a private investigator) and opted to cross Jefferson St. (a very busy thoroughfare @ 19th Ave. and Jefferson), by jaywalking!
Just before I reached the other side of the street, a car turned East onto Jefferson and began accelerating.
I clapped my hands onto the hood to get the driver’s attention (and to pretend I could actually stop the car) and looked up in fear.
The driver was Rose Mofford! She was Arizona’s Secretary of State at the time. She smiled broadly at me, and mouthed ‘I’m sorry’. I mouthed back,‘that’s okay’, and she drove on.
I understand she supported reasonable gun control (whatever that is). Being a Democrat, I’m not surprised.
She remains a symbol for a kinder, gentler time in Arizona politics.
She will be missed.
The Hardest Thing to Understand in the World is the Income Tax. – Albert Einstein(*This is part 2 of a multi-part series. For other posts in the series click on the “A Republic If You Can Keep It” category at the bottom of this post.)
The U.S. tax code is 74,608 pages long. Every man woman and child is expected to calculate the tax they have paid and/or owe the federal government at least once a year (families can choose to file jointly).
It’s common knowledge that two, individual tax accountants can look at the same person’s information and come up with different numbers; even if the person’s situation is not complex. It’s not only possible, it is likely. Even two different IRS auditors are likely to come up with different numbers.
The IRS can audit back to six years, and even further if they decide they have reason. Therefore, it is almost a guarantee that every adult in the U.S. who is over the age of 24 has some discrepancy the IRS can uncover in their tax filings. The IRS can garnish your wages. The IRS can send you to prison, just ask Dinesh D’souza. As we’ve seen with the Tea Party, the IRS can determine who can have an organization, when that organization can function, and when it can’t. The IRS can stop a business from collecting money or selling products or services. The IRS can shut down private schools, churches, clubs… The IRS can take your home.
Except for a few, brief periods, there was no federal income tax prior to 1913. The tax code was 400 pages long then. In 1940 it was barely over 500 pages long. FDR’s New Deal and World War II created some new taxes. By the end of the war it was 8,200 pages long. It is almost 10 times larger now.
We all know no one really understands it. We all know the government can accuse anyone of not complying. Page after page. April after April. Year after Year.
Eliminate the income tax! Period!
This will force the government to hone down their bloated leviathan AND lessen their petty power and control over the individual.
And, while we’re at it, let’s restore the original CONSTITUTIONAL method of choosing State Senators. And eliminate the Federal Reserve.
I know, I’m beginning to sound like Rand Paul!
(from Brock Townsend)
Via Ol’ Remus
A sensational discovery in Denisova Cave is at least 50,000-years-old BUT it wasn’t made by Homo sapiens. The 7-centimeter (2 3/4 inch) needle was made and used by our long extinct Denisovan ancestors, a recently-discovered hominin species or subspecies.
Scientists found the sewing implement – complete with a hole for thread – during the annual summer archeological dig at an Altai Mountains cave widely believed to hold the secrets of man’s origins. It appears to be still useable after 50,000 years.
Professor Mikhail Shunkov, head of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Novosibirsk, said: ‘It is the most unique find of this season, which can even be called sensational.
I know for every Indiana Jones fantasy there are many serious archaeological professionals out there, finding stuff heretofore unimaginable.
So much for the Earth only being 5000 years old and flat!
I’m having a bit of an identity crisis.
I was born white, which makes me a racist.
I am a fiscal and moral conservative, which makes me a fascist.
I am heterosexual, which makes me a homophobe.
I am non-union, which makes me a traitor to the working class and an ally of big business.
I am older than 55 and semi retired which makes me a useless old man.
I think and I reason; therefore I doubt much that the main stream media tells me, which makes me a reactionary.
I am proud of my heritage and our inclusive American culture, which makes me a xenophobe.
I value my safety and that of my family; therefore I appreciate the police and the legal system, which makes me a right wing extremist.
I believe in hard work, fair play, and fair compensation according to each individual’s merits, which makes me anti-social.
I, and my friends, acquired a good education without student loans and no debt at graduation, which makes me some kind of odd underachiever.
I believe in the defense and protection of the homeland by all citizens, which makes me a militarist.
Please help me come to terms with this, because I’m not sure who I am anymore!
And now I don’t know which bathroom to use anymore….
H/T Doverthere, Theo Spark
New York Times Stumbles onto the Truth About Baltimore
Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, April 29, 2015
Discovers why blacks riot.
An article from yesterday’s New York Times about the relative calm in Baltimore stumbled by accident onto something like the real reason why blacks were rioting. Near the famous burned-out CVS–the city had begged the company to “invest” in a dodgy neighborhood–the Times reporter found someone it identified as “Robert Wilson, a college student who went to high school in Baltimore.” The article concludes with Mr. Wilson’s explanation of why blacks rioted. He said nothing about Freddie Gray or police brutality. Instead, he said this:
We’re just angry at the surroundings–like this is all that is given to us?–and we’re tired of this, like nobody wants to wake up and see broken-down buildings. They take away the community centers, they take away our fathers, and now we have traffic lights that don’t work, we have houses that are crumbling, falling down.
This quote almost perfectly captures the black mentality that leads to rioting. Blacks live in neighborhoods that they, themselves, have wrecked, and then ask, “This is all that is given to us?”
Hard-working white people built the “broken-down” buildings Mr. Wilson is complaining about. Many had parquet floors, high ceilings, and fine moldings found today only in the most expensive new construction.
After the riots in Baltimore in 1968, whites panicked and sold their property at desperation prices. Now, these houses are “broken down” because blacks didn’t maintain them. This pattern of white flight and “broken down” houses was repeated in Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Washington, St. Louis, Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Jacksonville, and countless other American cities. Some of the best city housing in the world was handed over to blacks who wrecked it. Neighborhoods filled with irreplaceable architecture are now wastelands.
Mr. Wilson complains that “we have houses that are crumbling, falling down.” The remedy for crumbling houses is for the people who live in them to fix them, but instead, Mr. Wilson asks, “Is this all that is given to us?”
Like so many blacks, Mr. Wilson doesn’t realize how perverse it is even to think in terms of pleasant houses and neighborhoods being “given” to anyone. Does he imagine the white authorities “giving” nice neighborhoods to whites and cruelly handing out slums to blacks? They didn’t start out as slums. Whites saved and worked hard to build those neighborhoods. They maintained them, repaired them, and loved them.
But in today’s world of welfare, food stamps, government housing, and white guilt, Mr. Wilson doesn’t know any better than to ask for handouts. Jesse Jackson is just as self-absorbed. At the funeral for Freddie Gray he wanted to know, “Why can’t the [black] West Side get the same things downtown gets?” Jesse Jackson is asking the same question: “Is this all that is given to us?”
And who, exactly, is not giving enough? Baltimore elected its first black mayor in 1987. Today, the mayor, the police chief, the fire chief, and half the police force are black. Two thirds of the population and most of the city council are black. But when Mr. Wilson and Jesse Jackson complain about stinginess, they are not blaming Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; they are blaming white people.
Mr. Wilson says Baltimore’s blacks rioted because they are “angry at the surroundings.” Blacks make their surroundings ugly and miserable, and then make them even more ugly and miserable by burning them down. And then they ask, “Is this all that is given us?
Mr. Wilson has more complaints: “They take away the community centers, they take away our fathers.” Mayor Rawlings-Blake cut funding for 20 of 55 city-run community centers
in 2013, but private foundations and neighborhood organizations kept most of them going. Rioters burned one down
And fathers? In 1983, Baltimore had the highest black illegitimacy rate in the country: 76 percent
, at a time when the national rate for blacks was about 55 percent. Now that the national black rate is 72 percent
, what is the figure likely to be for Baltimore? Ninety percent? Ninety-five percent? Whoever “they” are didn’t have to work very hard to “take away our fathers.” Black fathers were never there to begin with
It’s no surprise that Mr. Wilson thinks blacks haven’t been “given” what they deserve, and that “they” took away his father. He’s a college student–probably on scholarship–and that’s what blacks are taught from grade school.
The New York Times invariably blames “racism” and white privilege for the plight of blacks. It assumes that if only whites could curb their bigotry, blacks would bloom and flourish. It is remarkable that it concluded this article with a quotation that so brutally undercuts its own assumptions. People who think “they” have taken away their fathers, who blame others for their “broken down buildings,” who look at misery of their own making and ask “Is this all that is given to us?”–such people will not bloom and flourish no matter what white people do. Nor do they deserve to.
Presented without comment.
h/t Doc in Yuma
Some Yale University students are demanding changes to the English Department curriculum: specifically, they don’t think it should feature so many English poets who were straight, white, wealthy, and male.
“It is your responsibility as educators to listen to student voices,” the students wrote in a petition to the faculty. “We have spoken. We are speaking. Pay attention.”
The “Major English Poets” sequence, a mandatory two-course commitment for English majors, is particularly problematic, according to the students. These classes cover Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Donne, John Milton, Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, and T.S. Eliot. It’s not the most diverse line up, to be sure, but it’s the one that best reflects history the way it actually happened. Inarguably, these are the most influential poets in the English language.
But students think this sequence “creates a culture that is hostile to students of color.”
I don’t know where to begin on this. Seriously.
Let’s ask the Incas, or the Aztecs or the Sioux. Or the Australian aboriginal peoples. Or the Bantu.
Did predominantly White cultures subjugate, control and kill these people?* Yes. Have we spent the last one hundred + years or more trying to preserve primitive cultures, history, culture, etc. as a direct reaction to what happened before? Of course.
Is that enough? Maybe not.
But, eliminating Whiteness is not an answer. Show us the great Bantu poets and we will include them in poetry curricula!
Oh! Don’t forget to petition the Romans about the Etruscans or the Carthaginians.
Sorry, can’t do that – no one is left…
Perhaps they should consider attending a university in Zimbabwe?
*Did persons of the same color ALSO subjugate, control and kill these people? Yep.
I’m speaking of this Republic.
With Rome, it was either when the Ottoman Turks took Byzantium (Constantinople) 1453 AD or when a barbarian deposed the last western Roman emperor 476 AD (ancient history About.com)
My Western Civilization professor said it began with (and I’m quoting here) “Moral decadence and pleasures of the flesh!” (to the cheers of the 400 or so horny underclassmen)
What is/was the beginning of the end of this Constitutional Republic we know as The United States?
The Whiskey Rebellion? (1791)
The Civil War? (1861)
Federal income tax (1913)
Direct election of Senators? (1913)
Establishment of the Federal Reserve? (1913)
The National Firearms Act (1934)
Or is it an amalgamation of these and many other things, eating away at our Constitutional substance, punctuated by further federal government oversteps such as Ruby Ridge and Waco? No-knock warrants, followed by airport searches and sobriety checkpoints. Massive surveillance of our electronic communications. Prohibitions of Speech seen as ‘politically-incorrect’. The killing of Blacks by police – whether or not legitimate actions – spun by self-serving propagandists into an ersatz race war?
Now followed by widespread racial civil unrest, punctuated by acts of terrorism against civil authority.
I’m certain all ‘civilizations’, be they primitive neolithic cultures like the American Indian when the White man first laid eyes on him, or the Romans, or the Christian Turks all thought they would endure forever.
And so have most of we Americans.
I guess the true question isn’t what was the tipping point.
It’s what do we do NOW?
from a miniseries The Dark Ages
from Brock Townsend:
Given its track record, one wonders why socialism is gaining in popularity in the U.S. and what appeal it has to a generation that, apparently, knows little about it.
A recent survey from Harvard University has found that 51 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 do not support capitalism. Just 42 percent support the economic system that has allowed even the poorest American to live better and to have more opportunity for advancement than most of the rest of the world. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed support socialism.
Why does socialism receive such strong support among the young? I think it’s partly due to what is being taught in too many public schools and universities and it is partly due to ignorance and human nature, which would rather get a check than earn one.
Three quotes about socialism sum up both its false promise and its danger.
Back-in-the-day, when I was going to college, I paid all my own tuition, bought my own books, and worked full-time. At minimum wage or slightly more than minimum wage jobs. No student loans for me!
This is not to say I wouldn’t have considered a loan – I didn’t think I’d qualify and didn’t know I’d a choice!
What changed, wherein young people cannot work and afford college on their own?
(I suspect the government is involved!)
(In the interest of full disclosure, I barely make it on SSDI today, and sometimes borrow (or am gifted) money to pay my auto insurance, or to make groceries. This is not a bleg, but just a statement-of-fact. What changed, when I could once afford to pay my own way, and now cannot? I suspect the government is involved.)