Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday 04-30-12

My TSA Experience & General Airport Security

What prompted this was a few recent TSA related posts I’ve read over at the SayUncle blog (and there’s been more even since I wrote this):

TSA at work

A video of a woman sobbing while TSA cops a feel (again on SayUncle blog)

FormerTSA head and a weird/funny case of someone being stopped/questioned by TSA

And TSA on yourcity buses…

On a not-to-long-ago-work-related trip down to South Carolina I had my first (and hopefully last) run in with TSA. I was travelling with a firearm in a locked case. Now for those who don’t know, this is a “checked” item. Even in a locked case you are not permitted a firearm in your “carry-on” luggage. At Cleveland Hopkins they inspected the case, had me open it, relock it, and then wiped it down with their explosive sniffing wipes. They concluded it was safe and sent me on my way through security. No big deal, right? When I got to the airport in one of the Carolinas, I believe it was the airport in Charlotte, my firearm was nowhere to be found. After going to baggage claim, not finding it and then asking several airline representatives I was finally sent back to baggage claim. It was there that I politely and as calmly as possible let them know that I was flying with a checked firearm and couldn’t find it. I got the, “Well, why didn’t you say so?!?!” treatment and everybody was hunky dory. They brought it out from behind an “employees only” door, compared my claim ticket with the one on the gun case and sent me on my merry way. I was a little shook up at this point and needless to say very alert as I left the airport and headed out to get my rental car.

My return flight to Cleveland was even more exciting. Upon my arrival at the airport in the Carolina, I checked my firearm, proceeded through security, got a Starbucks coffee and Bruegger’s bagel and sat myself down to relax before my flight took off. Three sips and two nibbles in I hear, “Passenger Joshua Hershberger, please return to the check-in counter.” So, I get up, walk back past the pain-in-the-can security, knowing that I will now have to go back through that circus again and find the check-in counter.

“Um, hi there, I’m Josh Hershberger, um, I was paged?”

“Oh, hi sir, TSA has determined that they need to look in your luggage.” (meaning the gun case)

“This gentleman here can help you.” At this point I’m handed over to a weasely looking feller in his mid-60’s who just wants me to give him the key to the case so they can look inside.

Me: “Yeah, uh, that’s not gonna happen.”

Weasel: “Sir, I’ll just take the key downstairs, let them look in the case, and bring you your key back.”

Me: “Once again, No. No one is going in that case without me present. Period.”

Weasel: “Let me check and see if that’s okay, we don’t allow passengers down in THAT area.”

Me: Yeah, you do that.

Weasel: “Okay, sir, follow me.”

So we walk down a double flight of stairs to a “restricted area”. Ooooooooo. As we round a corner in an obscure area in the underground lair I realize it’s just them and me…..and my senses were all immediately heightened. There on the ground is my gun case…..and standing over it are a couple of brothas in TSA jumpsuits. I walk up and they ask me to unlock the case. Sure, no problem. As the second lock is coming off they order me to step back and let me know that they’d “take it from there.” Okay, tough guys. At this point one of the goons opens the case while the other one is eyeballin’ me. Then both of them standing at opposite ends of the gun case take about a step back and proceed to cross their arms in a leaning back position and start to mumble unutterables.

TSA Goon #1: “Dammmmnnnnn, is that a ‘Ma Deuce’?

Me: “No, sir, that is an M240-SLR.”

TSA Goon #2: “Dammmmnnnnn, is that one of ‘em machine guns?”

Me: “No, sir, that is a semi-automatic version of the US Military M240 machine gun.”

TSA Goon #1: “Daaammmmmnnnnn!”

TSA Goon #2: “Daaaaammmmmmmmnnnn!”

(Both of the goons are now just standing there staring back and forth between the gun and each other.)

Me: “Um, did you guys interrupt my coffee and bagel just so you could see the cool gun?”

In Unison: “Yeah, pretty much!” heh, heh, heh,…

Me: Dorks. “Thanks, now I have the pleasure of going through security again. Have a nice day fellas.”

After all that hubbub, we (my gun and I) get back to Cleveland and the thing comes out on the luggage carousel, is pulled off by a airline baggage expert, is scanned and LEFT outside the baggage claim office. That’s right! IN THE OPEN! I walked up with my baggage claim ticket and begin looking around for so called baggage expert with his little scanner thingy… I decided to go ahead and grab it before someone else did and continued to look for scanner dork. When I find him, he SAYS, “Is that yours?” I replied, “Yes.” And he tells me to, “Have a nice day.” No scan or nothing!!! I said, “Don’t you want to compare my claim ticket?” To which he answers, “Nope, you’re fine.” EEEEdiot! I guess I looked like a nice enough guy, why wouldn’t it be mine?

TSA & airport security…..pretty much a joke in my opinion. We were probably safer before all of this.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday 04-29-12

Anti-Bullying Speaker Curses Christian Teens

As many as 100 high school students walked out of a national journalism conference after an anti-bullying speaker began cursing, attacked the Bible and reportedly called those who refused to listen to his rant “pansy assed.” The speaker was Dan Savage, founder of the “It Gets Better” project, an anti-bullying campaign that has reached more than 40 million viewers with contributors ranging from President Obama to Hollywood stars. Savage also writes a sex advice column called “Savage Love.” Savage, and his husband, were also guests at the White House for President Obama’s 2011 LGBT Pride Month reception.
He was also invited to a White House anti-bullying conference.
FOLLOW TODD ON FACEBOOK FOR CULTURE WAR NEWS Savage was supposed to be delivering a speech about anti-bullying at the National High School Journalism Conference sponsored by the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association. But it turned into an episode of Christian-bashing. Rick Tuttle, the journalism advisor for Sutter Union High School in California, was among several thousand people in the audience. He said they thought the speech was one thing – but it turned into something else. “I thought this would be about anti-bullying,”
Tuttle told Fox news. “It turned into a pointed attack on Christian beliefs.” SARAH PALIN LOVES TODD’S NEW BOOK SO DOES MARK LEVIN AND SEAN HANNITY. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY OF DISPATCHES FROM BITTER AMERICA Tuttle said a number of his students were offended by Savage’s remarks – and some decided to leave the auditorium. “It became hostile,” he said. “It felt hostile as we were sitting in the audience – especially towards Christians who espouse beliefs that he was literally taking on.” Tuttle said the speech was laced with vulgarities and “sexual innuendo not appropriate for this age group.” At one point, he said Savage told the teenagers about how good his partner looked in a speedo.
The conservative website CitizenLink was the first to report about the controversy. They interviewed a 17-year-old girl who was one of students who walked out of the auditorium. “The first thing he told the audience was, ‘I hope you’re all using birth control,’” she told CitizenLink. “he said there are people using the Bible as an excuse for gay bullying, because it says in Leviticus and Romans that being gay is wrong. Right after that, he said we can ignore all the (expletive deleted) in the Bible.” As the teenagers were walking out, Tuttle said that Savage heckled them and called them pansy-assed. “You can tell the Bible guys in the hall they can come back now because I’m done beating up the Bible,” Savage said as other students hollered and cheered. “It’s funny as someone who is on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible how pansy-assed people react when you push back.”
The executive director of the National Scholastic Press Association provided Fox News with joint statement from the Journalism Education Association that was sent to members – after a number of people complained about Savage’s remarks. “We appreciate the level of thoughtfulness and deliberation regarding Dan Savage’s keynote address,” the NSPA wrote. “some audience members who felt hurt by his words and tone decided to leave in the middle of his speech, and to this, we want to make our point very clear:
While as a journalist it’s important to be able to listen to speech that offends you, these students and advisers had simply reached their tolerance level for what they were willing to hear.” The NSPA said they did not have a prior transcript of Savage’s speech and that wish “he had stayed more on target for the audience of teen journalists.” They also said it provided a “teachable moment” for students. As for Savage’s attack on people of faith? “While some of his earlier comments were so strongly worded that they shook some of our audience members, it is never the intent of JEA or NSPA to let students get hurt during their time at our conventions,” they wrote.
However, not once did the NSPA or the JEA offer any apologies to the students or faculty advisors or anyone else in attendance. Savage did offer a sarcastic apology “if I hurt anyone’s feelings.” “But I have a right to defend myself and to point out the hypocrisy of people who justify anti-gay bigotry by pointing to the Bible and insisting we must live by the code of Leviticus on this one issue and no other.” Tuttle said that he “felt duped” by the event. “There were Christian schools who went to the conference.
To have this happen was disappointing and shocking.” The NSPA said they should have done a better job preparing schools for what to expect. For his part, Tuttle said that he will definitely be more cautious about the speakers at future conventions.Tuttle related how Savage told students that for a number of years he was not allowed in schools. He told the students that because it’s gained national acceptance “he’s reveling in the fact that it’s basically a middle finger to all those teachers and administrators who wouldn’t let him have access to those students before.”
But for some of Tuttle’s students – they felt like the anti-bullying activist was in fact – the bully.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday 04-28-12

Black on black crime, Zimmerman and Martin.

Zimmerman Raised With Black Children, Is Black
 The Narrative just took a bullet to the chest.

Perhaps inevitably, the story starts with, yes, a dog:

A pit bull named Big Boi began menacing George and Shellie Zimmerman in the fall of 2009.

The first time the dog ran free and cornered Shellie in their gated community in Sanford, Florida, George called the owner to complain. The second time, Big Boi frightened his mother-in-law’s dog. Zimmerman called Seminole County Animal Services and bought pepper spray. The third time he saw the dog on the loose, he called again. An officer came to the house, county records show. “Don’t use pepper spray,” he told the Zimmermans … “Get a gun.”

The policeman suggested he buy a gun. Do the police tell a lot of people they consider irresponsible and dangerous to buy guns? Probably not.

The 28-year-old insurance-fraud investigator comes from a deeply Catholic background and was taught in his early years to do right by those less fortunate. He was raised in a racially integrated household and himself has black roots through an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather – the father of the maternal grandmother who helped raise him.

That sound you hear is the press frantically trying to figure out how to update their ethnic style guides — is Zimmerman now a “black white Hispanic?” Or do we use the Obama standard (ever heard our historic POTUS called a “white black?” no you have not), in which case I guess Zimmerman is just… black.

Though civil rights demonstrators have argued Zimmerman should not have prejudged Martin, one black neighbor of the Zimmermans said recent history should be taken into account.

“Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I’m black, OK?” the woman said, declining to be identified because she anticipated backlash due to her race. She leaned in to look a reporter directly in the eyes. “There were black boys robbing houses in this neighborhood,” she said. “That’s why George was suspicious of Trayvon Martin.”

Well, all I know is someone’s not getting invited to dinner with Al Sharpton or Barack “my son would look like Trayvon” Obama. Which is too bad, because Big Boi sounds delicious.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday 04-27-12


Be careful what you wish for

Mansfield Frazier at the Daily Beast—a Newsweek outfit—says this in his columnabout the Travnor-Zimmerman brouhaha:

"So what would a fair outcome look like? To my mind, the government offers Zimmerman a plea deal that has him back on the street within this decade, and he accepts it quietly. That seems like a conclusion most reasonable Americans could live with... A protracted murder trial of George Zimmerman is the last thing this country needs right now. America can only dodge so many racial bullets, and a not-guilty verdict in this case could very easily turn the racial cold war into a very hot one."

Fair outcome?! Fair to who? Did he also advise Rodney King or OJ Simpson to go quietly off to prison? This is insulting. It stinks of contempt for white people and justice alike. Even Eric Holder hasn't sunk this low. Hot racial war?! To begin with, Mr. Frazier, a former Cleveland newspaper editor wouldn'tcha know, assumes nobody's noticed the ongoing attacks on whites, any one of which, were the races reversed, would be nonstop news coast-to-coast with blacks taking to the streets in waves—recent examples:

An 18 year-old black man murdered a white man in a public park, then shot a young white mother in the back while she walked her baby, reports Fox Detroit.

Three blacks kidnapped a 52 year old white woman, stole her car, raped and beat and sodomized her for hours. She escaped when they stopped for gas, reports KMOV St. Louis.

A 28 year old Spring, Texas white mother was shot seven times by a black nurse who kidnapped her newborn baby. Despite her injuries she tried to stop the kidnap car but was knocked to the ground and later died, reportsDaily Mail.

At least seven white people were brutally beaten by mobs of blacks in Grand Rapids, MI... The local media has refused to report the attacks and the authorities aren't placing any serious charges, reports the Washington Examiner.

A white tourist was beaten, robbed and stripped naked on a Baltimore street while other blacks laugh and videotape the assault, reports Huffington Post.

It's getting to where a normal robbery may just be a racial attack gone bad. More? Recently, near Chicago, a black man on parole stabbed a 13 year old white girl to death in her own home, stole her phone and sent text messages to the victims' mother taunting her about killing her daughter. And in Detroit, black men bound a white man and woman and burned them funeral-pyre style. In Tulsa, black men robbed a young white woman and her boyfriend, then killed them both. Also in Tulsa, a black man raped and beat to death an 85-year-old white woman and critically injured her 90-year-old husband during a home invasion. Reverse the races and there wouldn't be enough hoodies in the world to supply the demand.

Nobody makes friends by speaking of these things. It's considered crude, or at least gratuitous and ungentlemanly, to mention race. We've been browbeaten into pretending not to notice, to just keep quiet and hope our cowardice is mistaken for stoic magnanimity. But we do notice. We should have that "frank discussion" Mr. Holder dared us when he said whites were cowards. Many are. Maybe most are. Cowardice is why the national media avoids reporting even the most conspicuous 'black on white' crime as such, and why local media omits mentioning race when the offenders are black—but headlines them if they're white, or near enough—and often won't run photos supplied by the police even when violent black offenders are still at large, a particularly egregious example being the DC Sniper—known early on to be, but not reported to be, two black men, a jihadist from Jamaica and a home-grown Nation of Islam supremacist. Cowardice is why producers of television crime drama boast about reversing the races in their "true stories" and why Cops admits a self-imposed quota for segments involving blacks. They're telling us, "The truth? You can't handle the truth." How they know this is a mystery, they don't give us the option.

With the towering prohibition against expressing politically incorrect views about race, why would anyone be naive enough to believe that the demand for total consent will ever stop?

Paul Gottfried at

What is Mr. Frazier really afraid of? Does he believe whites will burn down the cities and lynch every black person in sight if Mr. Zimmerman is convicted? C'mon. He's peddling the standard warning should the mob not get their way. Said plainly, he's offering "hot racial war"—get it? Hot? Burn baby burn?—against whites if Mr. Zimmerman's not do time, without a trial, thereby confirming what's come to be known as the black understanding of justice, to wit: bad outcomes are always somebody else's fault, therefore somebody has to pay and that somebody is "whitey".

Nobody should be surprised at this. It's official policy:

I can't actually imagine a time in which the need for more diversity would ever cease. Affirmative action has been an issue since segregation practices. The question is not when does it end, but when does it begin. When do people of color truly get the benefits to which they are entitled?

Attorney General Eric Holder, via Yasmin Gagne at

Face it, the good faith open handedness of the civil rights era has been squandered, it's gone, a one-time opportunity lost by serially betraying friends of equal justice. Mr. Frazier seems okay with proposing a kangaroo court lockup as a noble gesture, he sees it as just a bit-o'-fudging for social justice. He knows whites just want to get along and so have consistently chosen appeasement over unpleasantness. But try this: knowing how it turned out, read the same arguments by civil rights activists of the 1960s. Knowing what we know now, the blatant deception and fraudulent double talk jumps off the page. Seriously, try it. It's so obvious in retrospect you'll want to weep. Or vomit.

Bad enough, but now there's open loathing of "anything white" and a rising storm of random violence against innocents to match. The intent is clearly stated in the vitriol blaring from black pulpits and official podiums, it's a blood lust of black bigotry only the extreme racist wackos of fifty years ago hoped to see. Meanwhile, the press continues to earn the contempt of their audience with omissions and denials. Even the KKK of old couldn't have imagined the media would some day abet the racial war of their fantasies by letting it begin and develop out of sight.

America is the most race-conscious country in the world. And we see that every day in every newspaper with stories about black unions, black caucuses, black teachers, black students, black neighborhoods, and on and on. Everything except black violence.

Colin Flaherty, White Girl Bleed A Lot, quoted by Dan Auld at

This is the way it's shaping up: a young black wannabe thugga decided to feel disrespected and attacked a neighborhood watch volunteer who, incidentally, is exactly as white genetically as Obama although more admirable than Obama in all important ways. Said volunteer decided not to be beaten to death that night and shot said wannabe thugga even while his head was being bashed against the pavement. When the police arrived they saw no cause for arrest. Relying on the facts as presented thus far, justice appears to have been already served, but the race industry, terrified anybody should stand their ground and get away with it, opined otherwise. An elected prosecutor of the Nifong variety sniffed opportunity and charged said volunteeer with murder. Should Mr. Zimmerman be acquited, or found to be in the right—again, or not volunteer to be imprisoned for defending himself, Mr. Frazier spoke up unasked and offered a 'hot race war' as revenge. Hot racial war. No ambivalence. No weasel-wording.

This has been on the table for a long while now—"no justice, no peace" as they put it, meaning social justice, the name injustice goes by, and there's been no backing down on their end. This, unwisely, is doubling down. It's always the same: short term clever, long term stupid. Mr. Frazier hasn't thought this through. Martin King was a violent man personally but he got it right when he told his more militant followers to keep the meaning of the word minority in mind. Being 13% of the population is not good odds should the check Mr. Frazier has written be cashed. Does the race industry understand white people don't actually believe in zombies but, oddly, are arming themselves at a record rate? Does Mr. Frazier understand he may be leaning on an open door? The page of history always turns and no man can know what will be written next. A word of caution here. As military people say, no plan of battle survives contact with the enemy. He has revealed himself willing to put aside all other avenues and pull us into a 'hot racial war'. But how willing is he to be surprised?

Nothing's forever. This will all end but it's getting more difficult by the minute to see how it ends well. No honorable person talks themselves and others into racial war. Mr. Frazier believes he speaks to a wide consensus, and he probably does. Should his 'hot racial war' threat be acted upon, the players change and a whole new set of events is put in motion. He and his audience are badly advised to call up those players. If personal integrity won't stay their hand, they should take one more peek at the spreadsheet. These are just observations. There's nothing good in this for anybody. Mr. Frazier has put the ultimatum plainly. Should it be called and the militants mobilized, only the insane will join them. As always, the best advice is: stay away from crowds.

Postscript: Francis Porretto has some thoughts on this. See his article, Politics, Money, Race, George Zimmerman, And 2012 at Liberty's Torch.

Woodpile Report 265 - 24 Apr 2012

The perverts are at it again, they can not seem to pass up feeling up a kid.

Family Misses Flight After TSA Gives Pat-Down To Girl With Cerebral Palsy

The Transportation Security Administration is once again the subject of national scrutiny, this time after aggressively screening a 7-year-old female passenger with cerebral palsy which caused her family to miss their flight.
The girl, identified as Dina Frank in a report by The Daily, was waiting with her family on Monday to board a flight departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York headed to Florida. Since Dina walks with the aid of leg braces and crutches, she cannot pass through airport metal detectors, and must instead submit to a pat-down by TSA agents.
Dina, who is also reportedly developmentally disabled, is usually frightened by the procedure. Her family reportedly requests that agents on hand take the time to introduce themselves to her. However, the agents on duty at the time began to handle her aggressively instead. Air travel is difficult to the family due to Dina’s disabilities, but the nature of Monday’s inspection was especially traumatic for the child. “They make our lives completely difficult,” her father, Dr. Joshua Frank, a Long Island pediatrician, told The Daily. “She’s not a threat to national security.” Frank taped the encounter, which ended when a supervisor inspected her crutches and let them pass. But agents followed up and insisted upon doing a full inspection of Dina.
Ultimately, the family missed their flight. “They’re harassing people. This is totally misguided policy,” Frank told The Daily. “Yes, I understand that TSA is in charge of national security and there’s all these threats. [But] for her to be singled out, it’s crazy.” Dina, from Long Island, had recently experienced triumph after Botox and phenol injections helped her to gain control of her legs, enough to take several unassisted steps.
After being born prematurely and suffering from bleeding in the brain, Dina struggled for years to get around, even enduring a double hip replacement to assist in her recovery, CBS New York reported.
UPDATE: The TSA issued a statement defending their decision to pat-down the girl. “TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that our officers followed proper screening procedures in conducting a modified pat-down on the child,” the agency said.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday 04-26-12

I guess they will groupe adults also, and just kids

Congressman Canseco says he was assaulted during TSA pat-down .

U.S. Rep. Francisco Canseco said he was assaulted by a TSA agent at the San Antonio International Airport. The Texas Congressman said the security agent went too far during a pat-down earlier this month. "The agent was very aggressive in his pat-down, and he was patting me down where no one is supposed to go,” said Canseco. “It got very uncomfortable so I moved his hand away.
That stopped everything and brought in supervisors and everyone else." Canseco told the KENS 5 I-Team the agent said he too was assaulted when Canseco pushed his hand away. According to TSA, neither man was cited. A week later when going through the San Antonio International Airport, Canseco was once again selected for a pat-down. "I did not see it as a coincidence,” he said. “I asked them why are you going to pat me down again, so we discussed it further and after discussing it further, they patted me down." However, before the discussion was over, San Antonio Police Department officers were called to the security check point area. Again, no one was cited. TSA issued the I-Team the following statement about the incident: "TSA incorporates random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport.
Once a passenger enters the screening process, they must complete it prior to continuing to a flight or secure area." Canseco said his experience illustrated changes in the airport security are needed. "It is very important that Americans feel safe and secure as they travel in our nation’s airways - safe and secure from acts of terrorism and all that. But, I also think that TSA sometimes gets too aggressive, and it's not just about me. It's about every American that goes through those TSA scanners." The I-Team requested video from TSA of both incidents. A TSA spokesperson said our request is being reviewed.

Dress that looks like Confederate flag keeps teen from prom

Gibson County High School senior Texanna Edwards was — like many of her classmates — looking forward to her prom last Saturday. But Edwards didn’t get to attend because of her attire — a knee-length red dress decorated with bright blue stripes and white stars inside the stripes. The school’s colors are red, white and blue, but the dress resembles the controversial Confederate battle flag. Edwards, 18, said she wasn’t allowed inside the prom after school officials told her the dress was “offensive and inappropriate.” “We asked why they thought that, but they kept saying the same thing over and over,” she said Monday. “We kept asking people walking inside — black and white — and everyone said they loved it. Two black women even went off on the principal. They were upset with the principal. No one was upset with me.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday 04-25-12

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Tsa at it again picking on a four year old this time

Weeping four-year-old girl accused of carrying a GUN by TSA officers after she hugged her grandmother while passing through security

Of all the many complaints about airport security and the TSA, one of the most common is that they make little distinction between plausible security threats and passengers unlikely to be doing anything wrong. And a recent incident in Wichita, Kansas has reinforced that argument, as a four-year-old girl was apparently subjected to a humiliating ordeal after she hugged her grandmother while she was waiting in line. The girl was accused of having a gun and declared a 'high security threat', while agents threatened to shut down the whole airport if she could not be calmed down. When asked about the overbearing treatment the girl received, a TSA spokesman did not apologise and insisted that correct procedures had been followed. Four-year-old Isabella's horrific experience in Wichita earlier this month was recounted on Facebook by her furious mother Michelle Brademeyer. The family was in Kansas for a wedding, and was travelling home to Montana with Ms Brademeyer's mother. Ms Brademeyer and her two children had passed through security when the grandmother was detained after triggering an alarm on the scanners. Isabella then, according to her mother, 'excitedly ran over to give her a hug, as children often do. They made very brief contact, no longer than a few seconds.' The young girl was immediately detained by security agents, who apparently shouted at her that she would have to be frisked too, and refused to let her mother explain what has happening. Ms Brademeyer wrote: 'It was implied, several times, that my mother, in their brief two-second embrace, had passed a handgun to my daughter.' Nightmare: The TSA has been criticised for being over-zealous (file photo) In her terror, Isabella tried to run away rather than face a full body pat-down, which unsurprisingly enraged the TSA officers further. One officer even told the girl's mother that the airport would have to be shut down and every flight cancelled if the four-year-old did not co-operate. They also apparently described the little girl as a 'high security threat'. As Isabella was taken into a side room for a pat-down, accompanied by her mother, she could not stop crying and refused to let the agents touch her. An officer repeatedly said she had 'seen a gun in a teddy bear' in the past, in an apparent attempt to justify the situation. Ms Brademeyer continued: 'The TSO loomed over my daughter, with an angry grimace on her face, and ordered her to stop crying. 'When my scared child could not do so, two TSOs called for backup saying, "The suspect is not cooperating." The suspect, of course, being a frightened child. They treated my daughter no better than if she had been a terrorist.' Airport: Isabella's family was flying out of Wichita at the time of the incident Isabella continued to cry, and officers said the family would have to leave the airport as the TSA was unable to frisk the four-year-old. When a manager was called, he decided that the distraught Isabella could be checked alongside her mother, and let the family pass through security at last. But their nightmare was not yet over, as on a connecting flight in Denver, an airport employee demanded to know which of the family was Isabella - and 'looked really confused' when the girl was pointed out to her. Ms Brademeyer concluded her Facebook post by drawing attention to TSA rules against separating children from their parents, and added: 'I feel compelled to share this story in the hope that no other child will have to share in this experience.' When The Consumerist approached the TSA for comment on the bizarre incident, a spokesman said: 'TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that our officers followed proper current screening procedures in conducting a modified pat-down on the child.' Last month the agency came in for criticism when a video of a three-year-old boy in wheelchair having a full pat-down and being swabbed for explosives circulated on the internet.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday 04-24-12

Remember you are the enemy, the hardworking honest person, that is why they have to spy on you to figure out what you are doing wrong, because you have to be doing something wrong, because you are the enemy, see it is that simple, can not you see the logic?

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday 04-22-12

Zoning the ocean

President Barack Obama has an ambitious plan for Washington bureaucrats to take command of the oceans—and with it control over much of the nation’s energy, fisheries, even recreation in a move described by lawmakers as the ultimate power grab to zone the seas. The massive undertaking also includes control over key inland waterways and rivers that reach hundreds of miles upstream, and began with little fanfare when Obama signed an executive order in 2010 to protect the aquatic environment.
 “This one to me could be the sleeping power grab that Americans will wake up to one day and wonder what the heck hit them,” said Rep. Bill Flores (R –Texas). “This is pure administrative fiat,” said Sen. David Vitter (R –La.). “It’s very troubling.” “This is purely a unilateral administrative action with no real congressional input or oversight,” Vitter said. “I think it clearly threatens to have a big impact on a lot of industry, starting with energy, oil and gas, and fishing.”
But in his zeal to curb sea sprawl, lawmakers say the president’s executive order also gives Washington officialdom unprecedented reach to control land use as well. “The order says they shall develop a scheme for oversight of oceans and all the sources thereof,” Flores said. “So you could have a snowflake land on Pikes Peak and ultimately it’s going to wind up in the water, so as a result they could regulate on every square inch of U.S. soil.” Impacts on industry, consumers

The effects of Obama’s far-reaching policy would be felt by numerous industries including wind farms and other renewable energy undertakings, ports, shipping vessels, and other marine commerce, and upstream it would also affect mining, timber, even farming. It will impact consumers directly through rules addressing recreational uses such as fishing and boating, and restricting the multiple use development of the ocean’s resources would also increase the cost of fuel and food, lawmakers say. The idea to create a policy to oversee multiple uses of the ocean originated during the Bush administration, but after push back from within the ranks, including Vitter, the idea was dropped. Critics of this revised plan say it is more narrowly focused, and that the Obama administration is taking their marching orders from environmental groups who want to move away from a multiple-use ocean policy to a no-use policy. “If you look at the catalyst for the entire initiative, it comes from the playbook of environmental groups that think the ocean ought to be controlled by the federal government,” Flores said. Added Vitter: “This (Obama) administration is more aggressive and left-leaning, and they are going whole hog.

I think it’s clearly a threat, and in terms of negatively impacting jobs, it’s a very, very big threat.” Blocking new oil, gas production The ocean policy has already impacted oil and gas development in the Mid and South Atlantic, where more environmental analysis is now required to determine whether new studies must also be conducted to determine its safety, according to Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar. Jack Belcher, managing director of the Ocean Policy Coalition that represents numerous industries affected by Obama’s initiative including oil companies, says Salazar’s action is one example of how the administration is already blocking new production “on a policy that hasn’t even been developed yet.” Still in its draft form, the plan released in January contains vague goals that call for more than 150 milestones to be accomplished by next year that will determine how the ecosystem is managed. “Right now, we can only speculate on the impacts,” Belcher said. “But all of a sudden, there’s a new authority creating a new plan that may not allow oil and gas leasing or development in (some) areas.” “But what we are worried about, and already seeing, is it’s being used as a tool to say we’re not going to do something, or delay it,” Belcher said. “It creates another layer of bureaucracy and another opportunity for litigation.

We see this as an opportunity to tie things up in complete uncertainty.” Belcher said his members are not opposed to having a process in place to manage all of the industries that depend on the ocean, but that they are already operating under numerous and sometimes onerous regulations that guide energy development, the shipping of goods, wind farm construction, and commercial fishing. “It isn’t just chaos on the high seas, but this ocean policy takes the assumption that it is,” Belcher said. “We’re fearful that (Obama’s policy) will result in a more draconian system.” The regulatory uncertainty created by the draft plan for industries and its employees that depend on the ocean has prompted numerous Republican senators to ask for congressional oversight hearings. “In these tough economic times, it would be unfortunate if Congress chose to ignore responsibility for limiting bureaucratic hurdles to prosperity,” the lawmakers said in a March 20 letter. The letter was signed by Sens. Vitter, Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Mike Crapo of Idaho and John Cornyn of Texas. The ocean policy has been a sleeper issue with very little media coverage, but now that it is starting to affect industries such as gas and oil production, lawmakers say congressional hearings are needed to take a broader look at its impact and consider public input from all of the stakeholders, not just environmentalists. “This has largely been completely under the radar,” Vitter said. “And that is exactly the way the administration and their environmental allies want to do it—announce the administrative fiat is complete and that we have this new way of life that nobody knew was coming.” House Republicans are fighting back by tightening the purse strings they control and hope that by cutting off funding to implement the policy, and putting a stop to officials they believe are siphoning money away from other programs, they can block it from going forward. Rep. Hal Rogers (R -Ky.), who heads the powerful House Appropriations Committee, has been asked to put a stop to the administration’s “cloaked funding” by Rep. Doc Hastings (R–Wash.), chairman of the House Resources Committee.

 “The Obama administration continues to move forward with zoning the oceans through implementation of the president’s National Ocean Policy without requesting funding specifically for this broad initiative and without answering basic questions about how funds are currently being diverted from other missions to fund this initiative,” Hastings said in an April 2 letter to Rogers. Although critics of the plan say it will create an unprecedented aquatic zoning commission, the administration has repeatedly denied it. Administration’s defense Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and co-chair of the newly created National Ocean Council in charge of the new policy, said the plan “has been mischaracterized as ‘ocean zoning.’” “The National Ocean Policy does not create any new regulations,” added Jane Lubchenco, undersecretary of Commerce for oceans and atmosphere. “It is a planning process, it’s not zoning.” Calls to CEQ, which oversees the policy, were not returned. However, critics point to an Interior Department memo that says the plan “has emerged as a new paradigm and planning strategy for coordinating all marine and coastal activities and facility constructions within the context of a national zoning plan.” Additionally, former Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, a member of the Ocean Policy Task Force, told OnEarth Magazine in May, 2010, the plan is “basically taking the notion of urban planning and putting it into the water column, as well as the estuary systems that connect it to everything that impacts ocean ecosystems.” Rep. Don Young (R–Alaska) explained the new bureaucracy to his constituents during an April 3 Alaska field hearing as “a complicated bureaucratic scheme which includes a 27-member national ocean council; an 18-member governance coordinating committee; 10 national policies; nine regional planning bodies—each involving as many as 27 federal agencies as well as states and tribes; nine national priority objectives; nine strategic action plans; seven national goals for coastal marine spatial planning; and 12 guiding principles for coastal marine spatial planning.” “Are you confused yet?” Young asked the crowd. “The administration claims that this whole National Ocean Policy is nothing more than an attempt to coordinate federal agencies and make better permitting decisions,” Young said. “Forgive me if I am a little suspicious when the federal government—through an executive order—decides to create a new bureaucracy that will ‘help’ us plan where activities can or cannot take place in our waters and inland.”

Competing values Environmental groups that support the president’s efforts include the Pew Charitable Trusts, which says that the fragile health of the oceans is being threatened by the increasing industrialization of the seas. “If poorly planned or managed, drilling for oil and natural gas in federal waters, developing aquaculture and building wind, wave and tidal energy facilities all have the potential to damage America’s marine environment,” Pew said in a statement supporting the president’s policy. But some believe bureaucratic interference on such a large scale is the real threat. “The last thing we need is the federal government running the damn ocean and a bunch of bureaucrats running around trying to determine whether you can fish in one spot or another,” said Dan Kish, senior vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research.

A THOUGHT FOR A SUNDAY… In this recent incident, an aberration of society walked into a church in Spartanburg, raising a shotgun. Fortunately, before mayhem could ensue, an armed parishioner took him at gunpoint. This was not what the violent intruder had come for; he surrendered, and a mass murder was averted. These things don’t always have such happy endings. For a number of reasons, houses of worship are disproportionately likely to be the targets of mass murderers.

Across the spectrum of the faiths, clergy and church management have taken to heart the words attributed to Jesus Christ: “If thou hast not a sword, sell thy cloak and buy one.” (Luke 22:36) Yeah, it’s Sunday. Some of you are religious, some are not. I once gave that quote to a friend who happens to be an atheist, who replied with a puzzled look, “Whose screen name is Luke twenty-two thirty-six? What forums does he post on?” Well, if you don’t read the Bible, you’ll find the same principle in Ethics 101.

There is such a thing as a responsibility to protect the innocent from evil. This is why so many houses of worship now provide discreet armed security for their members in attendance. One such was Jeanne Assam, an ex-cop working volunteer security at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado on December 9, 2007. In the wee hours of that morning, a crazed young man had shot multiple people at an affiliated church in a suburb of Denver. The same monster showed up at the Colorado Springs facility with an AR15, a couple of handguns, and a backpack with more than a thousand rounds of ammunition.

He opened fire in the parking lot, killing two and wounding two more. Entering the church, he found himself facing Ms. Assam…and his own mortality. Disregarding her own safety, Jeanne Assam moved in on the heavily armed gunman, firing her Beretta 92 FS with deadly accuracy, and cut him down in a hail of 9mm bullets. Some say that at the last moment he put a fatal bullet into himself, but that wouldn’t change the fact that he died only after Ms. Assam disabled him with multiple solid hits, and stopped a rampage that could have claimed dozens of lives. We are a nation that seems driven to tear down its heroes, and Jeanne Assam became a target of the mainstream media and other forces thereafter.

You can read her compelling story in her own words. Her book “God, the Gunman, and Me” is available for $14.99 plus $5.00 postage from . From the brave man in Spartanburg to the courageous lady in Colorado Springs, we have logical testament to the fact that if you’re going to refer to those folks in the pews as “the flock,” and their spiritual advisor as “the shepherd,” it makes a lot of sense to have some sheepdogs around, with good sharp fangs.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday 04-21-12

Chip lets smartphones see through walls, clothes

Researchers at a Texas university have designed a chip that could give smartphones the long-envied ability of comic book her Superman to see through walls, clothes or other objects.

A team at University of Texas at Dallas tuned a small, inexpensive microchip to discern a "terahertz" band of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The design works with chips made using Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor technology behind processors commonly found in personal computers, smartphones, televisions and videogame consoles.

"CMOS is affordable and can be used to make lots of chips," electrical engineering professor Kenneth O said in a statement Friday.

"The combination of CMOS and terahertz means you could put this chip and a transmitter on the back of a cell phone, turning it into a device carried in your pocket that can see through objects."

To assuage privacy worries, the professor and his team at the Texas Analogue Center of Excellence are limiting their study to what the chips can make visible at distances of four inches (10 centimeters) or less, according to the university.

The terahertz band has wavelengths that fall between microwaves used for mobile phone signals and infrared that is employed for night vision goggles.

The chip designed by O's team detects terahertz waves and shows the resulting imagery, perhaps on a smartphone screen.

O's team highlighted potential medical uses such as enabling doctors to peer easily into patients' bodies and practical applications along the lines of finding studs in walls.

"We've created approaches that open a previously untapped portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for consumer use," O said.

"There are all kinds of things you could be able to do that we just haven't yet thought about."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday 04-20-12

Without parental consent

Cops Take School Kids' DNA in Murder Case

Samples of DNA were collected without parental consent from students at a Sacramento, Calif., middle school in connection with the murder of an 8 th grade student who was found stabbed, strangled and beaten to death near the dugout of a local park.

The Sacramento Sheriff's Department, which has been spearheading the investigation into the murder of Jessica Funk-Haslam, 13, said parental consent was not required in the DNA collection and interview of minors, several of whom were taken out of class during the day last week at Albert Einstein Middle School.

"These are interviews, not interrogations," Sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos told "They are all consensual. Once it's done, there is a mechanism in place for school administrators to notify parents."

Ramos said the DNA collection was done at the time of the interview so efforts didn't have to be "duplicated." Ramos cautioned that the collection did not necessarily mean authorities had a DNA profile of the suspect.

Over the past few weeks, police have sifted through a number of leads and alibis but have been unable to name a suspect in Jessica's murder.

The teen's body was found at Rosemont Community Park on the morning of March 6. Jessica was reportedly arguing with her mother the night before and voluntarily left her home and boarded local transportation to a local park.

There is nothing under California law that prohibits DNA collection of consenting minors, said John Myers, a professor at the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

"I think the answer is, kids can consent, and if they consented and it was knowing and intelligent, [law enforcement] can do the search," he told the Sacramento Bee.

Ramos said last week's DNA collection was not the first time detectives visited the school and that he expects they'll be back for more follow-up.

He declined to say how many students have been interviewed, but said students who spoke with detectives were sent home with contact information to give to their parents.

"The parents have been completely supportive of it, in fact advocating our detectives do that for the benefit of excluding their children," Ramos said. "We've gotten a lot of positive feedback."

But one parent who said her son was interviewed wasn't happy with the process.

"My child's in a room with two detectives being questioned and grilled and I'm sure he was quite frightened, which is very upsetting," Michaela Brown told the Los Angeles Times.

Gabe Ross, of the Sacramento City Unified School District, said the school immediately made efforts to notify parents by phone and also sent home a letter. However, Ross said the school would not stand in the way of the investigation.

"We're not in a position to interfere in any way with the law enforcement investigation. If and when law enforcement wants to interview our students, we inform parents immediately," Ross said.

China reports bird flu outbreak

..Agricultural authorities in northwest China have culled about 95,000 chickens after an outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus, state press reported Wednesday.

The outbreak in Touying township of the Ningxia region was discovered on Friday last week after over 23,000 chickens began showing symptoms, Xinhua news agency said, citing the Ministry of Agriculture.

The ministry said the "epidemic is now under control", the report said, while work teams have been sent to the area to step up prevention measures.

China is considered one of the nations most at risk of bird flu epidemics because it has the world's biggest poultry population and many chickens in rural areas are kept close to humans.

In January, a man in southwest China's Guizhou province died after contracting the bird flu virus, the second such fatality reported in China this year, health authorities said.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thursday 04-19-12

TSA is filled with perverts. You just can not make it up. I could careless what a persons proclivity is, but why would a sane person put someone that has those desires checking people that create those desires? Might as well have normal men checking females and vise-a-verse if you are going to do that.

'It left me no doubt about her sexual preference': Bar Refaeli felt violated after airport pat down by female security guard

She is currently enjoying a trip overseas which has included a visit to London.
But things have gone a little awry for jetsetter Bar Refaeli, who claims she was violated by a security officer at an airport.
The Israel supermodel tweeted about the ordeal to her fans, explaining that a female officer went a little too far with a routine patdown.

The brunette beauty told her followers that the incident left her contemplating the woman's 'sexual preferences'.
'I got a security "patdown" by a woman at the airport that made me feel very uncomfortable and left no doubt about her sexual preferences,' she wrote on the social networking site.

The incident came after Bar was left red faced when an unidentified man jumped into her car to hand a solitary flower while on a night out in London last night.

The man, who was part of Bar's group, jumped into their waiting car after purchasing the rose outside the Arts Club in Dover Street, central London.
However, the model appeared embarrassed by the gesture, covering her face and laughing.
She was dressed in a denim shirt, with dark beige trousers and tan boots.
With temperatures taking a dip in the capital Bar wrapped up in a dark grey coat and leopard print scarf.

Her group left the Arts Club and arrived at the Embassy Club in Mayfair shortly after.

The man who bought her the rose was seen leaving around 3am, without Bar herself.
Evidently, it takes more than a rose to whisk her off her feet

Bar also posted to photos to Twitter from the capital.

She spent a while on the London Eye, tweeting photos from the famous tourist attraction which offers breathtaking panoramic views across London.

She also posted a picture of herself which she'd altered using an app on her iPhone.

Bar wrote: 'This is way too funny to pass on posting it. I may regret it....'

Nothing to declare but my bra: Jennifer Hudson shrugs off airport security search even as it gets a bit too close for comfort

They Terrorize now? They make people cry and shake?

Wednesday 04-18-12

NaturalNews exclusive: Michigan government unleashes armed raids on small pig farmers, forces farmer to shoot all his own pigs

NaturalNews can now confirm that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has, in total violation of the Fourth Amendment, conducted two armed raids on pig farmers in that state, one in Kalkaska County at Fife Lake and another in Cheboygan County. Staging raids involving six vehicles and ten armed men, DNA conducted unconstitutional, illegal and arguably criminal armed raids on these two farms with the intent of shooting all the farmers' pigs under a bizarre new "Invasive Species Order" (ISO) that has suddenly declared traditional livestock to be an invasive species.

See our previous report on this subject at:

And hear my interview with Mark Baker, who runs one of the farms to be targeted by the Michigan government, at:

The ISO also deems farmers who raise these pigs to be felons, and DNR officials were ready to make arrests on the scene and haul away these farmers to be prosecuted as hardened criminals.

Farmer forced to shoot his own baby piglets in cold blood
"I think this is an unconstitutional order, these actions of the DNR are way out of bounds," attorney Joseph O'Leary told NaturalNews in an interview today. He is representing one of the farmers who was targeted in these raids. "To take what was six months ago an entirely legal activity, and suddenly people are felons over it. They're not growing drugs, running guns or killing anybody, they're raising animals pursuant to USDA regulations and state of Michigan regulations. They haven't done anything wrong here, and the DNR is treating them like they are hardened criminals."

In anticipation of the DNR arriving on the scene, one farmer engaged in what can only be described as a heart-wrenching task of shooting his own pigs, one by one, including baby piglets before the DNR arrived. This was to avoid being arrested as a felon. His livelihood is now completely destroyed, as the state of Michigan has put him out of business. Even after this farmer informed the DNR that he had destroyed his entire herd of pigs, the DNR continued to illegally acquire a search warrant by providing false information to a court Judge, then conducting an armed raid on his ranch to verify that the entire herd of pigs had indeed already been shot to death. That this took place satisfied the DNR, which is now showing itself to be engaged in the mob-style destruction of targeted farming businesses through its mass-murder agenda of Michigan's small-scale farm pigs.

"It was very traumatic for him. These guys are farmers, and I know how much he cared for the animals there, and the DNR treats these like they're some kind of a plant that needs to be exterminated rather than animals that people care about," said O'Leary.

Here is what one of the raided farmers had to say about his experience of being forced to destroy his pigs:

"I was served a search warrant yesterday at 7: 45am. I have killed all my hogs. [DNR] gave me papers that say I do not have any hogs on my property. All they saw were dead hogs laying around from my mass slaughtering. It took 12 guys 4 times in there to kill all of them, sows with young, Pregnant sows, dozens of piglets, and old mature boars. It has been a sad few weeks. Does anyone know what it feels like to open fire on 20 baby piglets in one group which weigh between 5 lbs and 15 lbs. They are so adorable and cute. They commented to everyone that they never saw a fence built so tough and no way would a hog get out of this area." (

One of the raids targeted Ron McKendrick of Renegade Ranch in Cheboygan County. His ranch was raided on Saturday morning, and DNR agents reportedly conducted an interrogation of his customers and his 75-year-old senior citizen employee. In order to gain access to his property, DNR bureaucrats acquired a temporary restraining order which was used to bully their way onto the property (a violation of the Fourth Amendment).

Another raid was conducted against the farm of Dave Tuxberry. He's the man who was forced to shoot all his own pigs before DNR agents arrived, in order to avoid being arrested as a felon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday 04-17-12

Must be something in the water

Special Report: Tax time pushes some Americans to take a hike

A year ago, in Action Comics, Superman declared plans to renounce his U.S. citizenship.

"'Truth, justice, and the American way' - it's not enough anymore," the comic book superhero said, after both the Iranian and American governments criticized him for joining a peaceful anti-government protest in Tehran.

Last year, almost 1,800 people followed Superman's lead, renouncing their U.S. citizenship or handing in their Green Cards. That's a record number since the Internal Revenue Service began publishing a list of those who renounced in 1998. It's also almost eight times more than the number of citizens who renounced in 2008, and more than the total for 2007, 2008 and 2009 combined.

But not everyone's motivations are as lofty as Superman's. Many say they parted ways with America for tax reasons.

The United States is one of the only countries to tax its citizens on income earned while they're living abroad. And just as Americans stateside must file tax returns each April - this year, the deadline is Tuesday - an estimated 6.3 million U.S. citizens living abroad brace for what they describe as an even tougher process of reporting their income and foreign accounts to the IRS. For them, the deadline is June.

The National Taxpayer Advocate's Office, part of the IRS, released a report in December that details the difficulties of filing taxes from overseas. It cites heavy paperwork, a lack of online filing options and a dearth of local and foreign-language resources.

For those wishing to legally escape the filing requirements, the only way is to formally renounce their U.S. citizenship. Last year, IRS records show that at least 1,788 people did, and that's likely an underestimate. The IRS publishes in the Federal Register the names of those who give up their citizenship, and some who renounced say they haven't seen their name on the list yet.

The State Department said records it keeps differ from those published by the IRS. They indicate that renunciations have remained steady, at about 1,100 each year, said an official.

The decision by the IRS to publish the names is referred to by lawyers as "name and shame." That's because those who renounce are seen as willing to give up their citizenship primarily for financial reasons.

There's also an "exit tax" for the very rich who choose to leave. During the last 25 years, a number of millionaires and billionaires have renounced their citizenship. Among them: Ted Arison, the late founder of Carnival Cruises, and Michael Dingman, a former Ford Motor Co. director.

But those of more modest means renounce, too. They say leaving America is about more than money; it's about privacy and red tape.


On April 7, 2011, Peter Dunn raised his right hand before a U.S. consular officer in Toronto and swore that he understood the consequences of giving up his U.S. citizenship. Dunn, a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen who has lived outside the United States since 1986, says he renounced because he felt American citizenship had become more of a liability than a privilege.

As an American, Dunn had to file tax returns and report all of his bank accounts - even joint accounts and his Canadian retirement fund. If he didn't, he would be breaking U.S. law and could face penalties of up to $100,000 or 50 percent of his undeclared accounts, whichever is larger. Dunn says he was tired of tracking IRS policy changes, and he had no intention of returning to the United States. Renouncing his citizenship, as he puts it, was "a no-brainer."

"If it was just me then it would be one thing," says Dunn, a part-time investor who worried that having to share information with the IRS would deter future business partners - and upset his wife, who is Canadian. "Disclosing joint accounts I hold with my wife and anyone I ever want to do business with - that's just too much. My wife's account is none of their business."

Dunn, who blogs about expatriation, takes issue with being characterized as a tax evader. He says the taxes he pays in Canada are higher than what he would pay in the United States, and he says he had always complied with the IRS before renouncing. But, Dunn says, the IRS approach to enforcing compliance is misguided. "It's making life difficult for a lot of people," he says. "It's driving us away."


Dunn is referring to two filing requirements that affect Americans abroad: the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts - which has been around since 1970 but now carries penalties for noncompliance - and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, passed in 2010 with the aim of reducing offshore tax evasion.

The first regulation requires all Americans, including those living abroad, with at least $10,000 in overseas bank accounts, to file a supplementary form disclosing all of their foreign accounts. That includes any accounts in which the U.S. citizen has a financial interest. That could include a joint account with a spouse or child, accounts for corporations in which the American owns more than 50 percent of the value of shares of stock, or any trust or estate that benefits the U.S. citizen.

The tax compliance act - the newer law - asks foreign financial institutions such as banks, hedge funds, and private equity funds to provide the IRS with information on U.S. clients.

The United States and five European Union countries recently announced their intent to allow institutions to report the information through their own governments, rather than directly to the IRS. Institutions that do not comply will be subject to a 30 percent withholding tax on certain U.S.-sourced payments and proceeds of property sales beginning in the 2013 tax year - for instance, dividends on investments in U.S. companies.

Some expatriates say they were unaware of the first regulation for years and even decades. In 2008, the IRS received only 218,840 such filings. American nationality law grants citizenship to almost everyone born in the United States or born abroad to American parents, regardless of how much time they've spent in the United States. Many may not even know the extent of their U.S. ties.

In 2004, the stakes for noncompliance rose. Failure to file meant potential fines and criminal charges. Americans abroad can be punished for noncompliance even if they owed no income tax - and IRS data show that most of them don't owe money.

Income up to $95,100 isn't taxed under a rule called the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. In 2009, the income cap was $91,400, and 88 percent of all taxpayers claiming the foreign earned income exclusion owed nothing. Since 2008, the IRS has offered several voluntary-disclosure grace periods during which expatriates can file back taxes without facing criminal charges - but with the possibility of incurring penalties.

Marylouise Serrato, head of American Citizens Abroad, a nonprofit organization based in Geneva, says that many members feel scared about reporting requirements they did not know existed. Their disenchantment, she says, is pushing some to renounce.

"Americans abroad are terrified. We've had people pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines. We've had people … pay huge amounts of back taxes," she says. "Up to this point, we never heard of anyone renouncing, or if they did, they didn't talk about it," says Serrato, who says her group does not advocate renunciation.

"Now," she says, "we're seeing a lot of people speak openly about it and come to us for information."

Congress is taking note. "While I fully support measures that reduce fraud and address offshore havens, the U.S. should not have policies that place undue burdens on legitimate Americans abroad," says Representative Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and the chair of the Congressional Americans Abroad Caucus. Maloney says she has taken the matter to the Department of the Treasury, which oversees the IRS.


Lawyers report that banking is a big reason why people renounce. "I hear about banking problems again and again and again," says Phil Hodgen, an attorney who has been helping Americans expatriate since 2008. The new reporting rules, he says, pose "a huge administrative burden. It's made Americans too expensive to keep."

Francisca N. Mordi, vice president and senior tax counsel at the American Bankers Association, says she has received a number of calls from Americans in Europe complaining about banks closing their accounts. "They're going to drop Americans like hot potatoes," Mordi says. "The foreign banks are upset enough about the regulations that they're saying they just won't keep American customers, and it's giving (Americans living abroad) a lot of sleepless nights."

Taxpayer complaints sometimes make their way to Nina Olson, the U.S. taxpayer advocate for the IRS, who addressed some of the international tax issues in a December report.

"The complexity of international tax law, combined with the administrative burden placed on these taxpayers, creates an environment where taxpayers who are trying their best to comply simply cannot," the report reads. "For some, this means paying more U.S. tax than is legally required, while others may be subject to steep civil and criminal penalties. For some U.S. taxpayers abroad, the tax requirements are so confusing and the compliance burden so great that they give up their U.S. citizenship."

In the same report, the IRS responded to the criticism, stating that the penalties for failing to report foreign accounts issued in its guidelines are maximums, not set amounts. It said the agency will not fine filers if the lapse is due to a "reasonable cause." The IRS also acknowledged the need for more public awareness, and it detailed its efforts to inform Americans overseas through fact sheets, a telephone help line and Twitter.

The IRS did not respond to requests for comment.


Around the world, American women's clubs - known for promoting American culture overseas through Fourth of July celebrations and Thanksgiving dinners - are growing empathetic toward those who renounce.

The American Women's Club in Dusseldorf, for instance, now links to renunciation information on its Website. The Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas has opposed new IRS rules, in part because the rules were pushing members to give up their citizenship. "The candidates are not tax-evaders or un-patriots," reads the organization's last annual report.

In Europe, American women say they feel pressure to renounce even from their husbands.

"American women married to non-Americans are only just now finding out that they have to disclose years and years of income and accounts," says Lucy Stensland Laederich, a leader of the women's club who lives in Bordeaux, France.

Laederich has been acting as the group's liaison with politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., and plans to attend a meeting to discuss expatriate tax issues with Maloney and Treasury Department officials on Tuesday.

"When they decide to come clean and report everything," she says, "they have to go ask their husbands for all of their bank information, retirement funds, and investment accounts, everything."

Some of their husbands, Laederich says, refuse to hand over information to the IRS. That leaves the women in difficult predicaments.

"Your options are to ignore the IRS and stick your head in the sand; take your name off of all the accounts and live in a completely cash economy; divorce; or renounce U.S. citizenship," Laederich says. "We've seen all of these things happen."


Genette Eysselinck, a friend of Laederich's, renounced early this year. Her husband, a European Union civil servant, saw no good reason to share his account information with the IRS, she says. And after considering all her options, Eysselinck decided that renouncing was the best path.

"It created a lot of tensions around here," she says. "Divorce seemed a little extreme, so I asked myself, 'What am I gaining as an American?' And the cons outweighed the pros."

Eysselinck was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and says she grew up on military bases all over the world. Her father, she says, was an Air Force pilot. Eysselinck has lived abroad for decades and no longer has any close connections in the United States.

She spent her final months as an American collecting paperwork and filing tax returns from the past five years, even though she says she owed nothing. Her last act as a citizen was to swear before an American flag that she renounced all ties with the United States. She called the process "gut wrenching."

"I grew up in a military family where patriotic feeling was very strong" Eysselinck says. "I'm amazed at how terrible I felt renouncing. But it was the only way to get them off my back. It's very distressing and time consuming to keep up with all the paperwork. But if it's this bad when I'm 64, how bad will it be when I'm 74?"

Farrakhan Threatens: People Will Kill Their Leaders In A Few Days
(video on site)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday 04-16-12

Thank you Jerry for the heartfelt comment.

A new strategy? Seems like trial ballons, they are out of control animals, imo. I'm talling aobut the adminitrative end and the abuses. Not talking about the regular employees. But why would they want a job where their job is to feel up cripples and children?

Why Airport Security Is Broken— And How To Fix It

Airport security in America is broken. I should know. For 3½ years—from my confirmation in July 2005 to President Barack Obama's inauguration in January 2009—I served as the head of the Transportation Security Administration.

You know the TSA. We're the ones who make you take off your shoes before padding through a metal detector in your socks (hopefully without holes in them). We're the ones who make you throw out your water bottles. We're the ones who end up on the evening news when someone's grandma gets patted down or a child's toy gets confiscated as a security risk. If you're a frequent traveler, you probably hate us.

More than a decade after 9/11, it is a national embarrassment that our airport security system remains so hopelessly bureaucratic and disconnected from the people whom it is meant to protect. Preventing terrorist attacks on air travel demands flexibility and the constant reassessment of threats. It also demands strong public support, which the current system has plainly failed to achieve.

The crux of the problem, as I learned in my years at the helm, is our wrongheaded approach to risk. In attempting to eliminate all risk from flying, we have made air travel an unending nightmare for U.S. passengers and visitors from overseas, while at the same time creating a security system that is brittle where it needs to be supple.

Any effort to rebuild TSA and get airport security right in the U.S. has to start with two basic principles:

First, the TSA's mission is to prevent a catastrophic attack on the transportation system, not to ensure that every single passenger can avoid harm while traveling. Much of the friction in the system today results from rules that are direct responses to how we were attacked on 9/11. But it's simply no longer the case that killing a few people on board a plane could lead to a hijacking. Never again will a terrorist be able to breach the cockpit simply with a box cutter or a knife. The cockpit doors have been reinforced, and passengers, flight crews and air marshals would intervene.

Second, the TSA's job is to manage risk, not to enforce regulations. Terrorists are adaptive, and we need to be adaptive, too. Regulations are always playing catch-up, because terrorists design their plots around the loopholes.

I tried to follow these principles as the head of the TSA, and I believe that the agency made strides during my tenure. But I readily acknowledge my share of failures as well. I arrived in 2005 with naive notions of wrangling the organization into shape, only to discover the power of the TSA's bureaucratic momentum and political pressures.

There is a way out of this mess—below, I'll set out five specific ideas for reform—but it helps to understand how we got here in the first place.

The airport checkpoint as we know it today sprang into existence in spring 2002, over a month and a half at Baltimore/Washington International airport. New demands on the system after 9/11, like an exhaustive manual check of all carry-on bags, had left checkpoints overwhelmed by long lines and backlogs. A team of management consultants from Accenture delved into the minutiae of checkpoint activity at BWI: How long did it take to pass from one point to another? How did the behavior of travelers affect line speed? How were people interacting with the equipment?

The consultants had a million ideas for improvement, but with no infrastructure, acquiring even the most ordinary items became a quest. For example, before passengers walked through the metal detectors, they needed to place their keys, jewelry and change into a container. But the long, skinny plastic dishes in use at the time tipped over. So a team member went to PetSmart, bought a bunch of different dog bowls and tested each one. The result was the white bowl with a rubber bottom that's still in use at many airports. (Please, no jokes about the TSA treating passengers like dogs.)

One brilliant bit of streamlining from the consultants: It turned out that if the outline of two footprints was drawn on a mat in the area for using metal-detecting wands, most people stepped on the feet with no prompting and spread their legs in the most efficient stance. Every second counts when you're processing thousands of passengers a day.

Members of Congress, who often fly home to their districts for the weekend, had begun demanding wait times of no longer than 10 minutes. But security is always about trade-offs: A two-minute standard would delight passengers but cost billions more in staffing; ignoring wait times would choke the system.

After I was confirmed as TSA administrator in 2005, one of the first things I did in office was to attend screener training at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

I sat down at a computer with Gary, a solidly built guy in his 40s with a mustache and a shaved head. Gary pointed at a screen that simulated the carry-on bag monitors at checkpoints. "What do you see?" he asked, a half smile on his face.

I stared at the series of colorful, ghostly images that Gary froze on the screen and tried to pick an easy one. "Well, that's a computer or some electronic, there are wires, maybe a battery." The sharp edges were easy to pick out, and the recognizable pattern of a motherboard jumped out. "But I don't know about that big orange blob on top of it."

"Right," said Gary. "The orange-colored part…. That means it's organic. Anything made of organic material—clothes, shoes, food—it's all going to register orange here."

As a confidence boost, Gary gave me a series of images with guns and knives in various positions. Knives lying flat were giveaways, but when viewed lengthwise, they had very little visible surface. Explosives were a whole different story. A plastic explosive like C4 is organic and dense. It appears as a heavy orange mass. Unfortunately, a block of cheddar cheese looks roughly the same.

As we started testing with a moving scanner, Gary warned me that too many false positives would be a big problem. A "hair-trigger" strategy would get me flunked. Images with guns took about one second to identify. Clear bags took roughly five seconds to double check for blade edges. It was cluttered bags—with their multihued oranges, blues, greens and grays jumbled together—that were the killers.

I wish that more of our passengers could see the system from the perspective of a screener. It is here, at the front lines, where the conundrum of airport security is in sharpest relief: the fear of missing even the smallest thing, versus the likelihood that you'll miss the big picture when you're focused on the small stuff.

Clearly, things needed to change. By the time of my arrival, the agency was focused almost entirely on finding prohibited items. Constant positive reinforcement on finding items like lighters had turned our checkpoint operations into an Easter-egg hunt. When we ran a test, putting dummy bomb components near lighters in bags at checkpoints, officers caught the lighters, not the bomb parts.

I wanted to reduce the amount of time that officers spent searching for low-risk objects, but politics intervened at every turn. Lighters were untouchable, having been banned by an act of Congress. And despite the radically reduced risk that knives and box cutters presented in the post-9/11 world, allowing them back on board was considered too emotionally charged for the American public.

We did succeed in getting some items (small scissors, ice skates) off the list of prohibited items. And we had explosives experts retrain the entire work force in terrorist tradecraft and bomb-making. Most important, Charlie Allen, the chief of intelligence for the Department of Homeland Security, tied the TSA into the wider world of U.S. intelligence, arranging for our leadership to participate in the daily counterterrorism video conference chaired from the White House. With a constant stream of live threat reporting to start each day, I was done with playing defense.

But the frustrations outweighed the progress. I had hoped to advance the idea of a Registered Traveler program, but the second that you create a population of travelers who are considered "trusted," that category of fliers moves to the top of al Qaeda's training list, whether they are old, young, white, Asian, military, civilian, male or female. The men who bombed the London Underground in July 2005 would all have been eligible for the Registered Traveler cards we were developing at the time. No realistic amount of prescreening can alleviate this threat when al Qaeda is working to recruit "clean" agents. TSA dropped the idea on my watch—though new versions of it continue to pop up.

Taking your shoes off for security is probably your least favorite part of flying these days. Mine, too. I came into office dead set on allowing people to keep their shoes on during screening. But, contrary to popular belief, it isn't just Richard Reid's failed shoe-bomb attempt in December 2001 that is responsible for the shoe rule. For years, the TSA has received intelligence on the terrorists' footwear-related innovations. Some very capable engineer on the other side is spending a lot of time improving shoe bombs, which can now be completely nonmetallic and concealed in a normal street shoe. There's still no quick way to detect them without an X-ray.

I was initially against a ban on liquids as well, because I thought that, with proper briefing, TSA officers could stop al Qaeda's new liquid bombs. Unfortunately, al Qaeda's advancing skill with hydrogen-peroxide-based bombs made a total liquid ban necessary for a brief period and a restriction on the amount of liquid one could carry on a plane necessary thereafter.

Existing scanners could allow passengers to carry on any amount of liquid they want, so long as they put it in the gray bins. The scanners have yet to be used in this way because of concern for the large number of false alarms and delays that they could cause. When I left TSA in 2009, the plan was to designate "liquid lanes" where waits might be longer but passengers could board with snow globes, beauty products or booze. That plan is still sitting on someone's desk.

The hijackings of the 1960s gave us magnetometers, to keep guns off planes. After the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, a small amount of international checked baggage was scanned and people were required to fly with their luggage. After 9/11, the TSA was created and blades were banned.

Looking at the airport security system that we have today, each measure has a reason—and each one provides some security value. But taken together they tell the story of an agency that, while effective at stopping anticipated threats, is too reactive and always finds itself fighting the last war.

Airport security has to change. The relationship between the public and the TSA has become too poisonous to be sustained. And the way that we use TSA officers—as little more than human versions of our scanners—is a tremendous waste of well-trained, engaged brains that could be evaluating risk rather than looking for violations of the Standard Operating Procedure.

What would a better system look like? If politicians gave the TSA some political cover, the agency could institute the following changes before the start of the summer travel season:

Embracing risk could reduce the hassle of today's airport while making us safer at the same time.
1. No more banned items: Aside from obvious weapons capable of fast, multiple killings—such as guns, toxins and explosive devices—it is time to end the TSA's use of well-trained security officers as kindergarten teachers to millions of passengers a day. The list of banned items has created an "Easter-egg hunt" mentality at the TSA. Worse, banning certain items gives terrorists a complete list of what not to use in their next attack. Lighters are banned? The next attack will use an electric trigger.

2. Allow all liquids: Simple checkpoint signage, a small software update and some traffic management are all that stand between you and bringing all your liquids on every U.S. flight. Really.

3. Give TSA officers more flexibility and rewards for initiative, and hold them accountable: No security agency on earth has the experience and pattern-recognition skills of TSA officers. We need to leverage that ability. TSA officers should have more discretion to interact with passengers and to work in looser teams throughout airports. And TSA's leaders must be prepared to support initiative even when officers make mistakes. Currently, independence on the ground is more likely to lead to discipline than reward.

4. Eliminate baggage fees: Much of the pain at TSA checkpoints these days can be attributed to passengers overstuffing their carry-on luggage to avoid baggage fees. The airlines had their reasons for implementing these fees, but the result has been a checkpoint nightmare. Airlines might increase ticket prices slightly to compensate for the lost revenue, but the main impact would be that checkpoint screening for everybody will be faster and safer.

5. Randomize security: Predictability is deadly. Banned-item lists, rigid protocols—if terrorists know what to expect at the airport, they have a greater chance of evading our system.

In Richmond, Va., we tested a system that randomized the security procedures encountered by passengers (additional upper-torso pat-downs, a thorough bag search, a swab test of carry-ons, etc.), while not subjecting everyone to the full gamut. At other airports, we tried out a system called "Playbook," which gave airports a virtual encyclopedia of possible security actions and let local law-enforcement, airport and TSA officials choose a customized set of counterterror measures.

Implemented nationally, this approach would give to the system as a whole a value greater than the sum of its parts—making it much harder for terrorists to learn how to evade our security protocols.

To be effective, airport security needs to embrace flexibility and risk management—principles that it is difficult for both the bureaucracy and the public to accept. The public wants the airport experience to be predictable, hassle-free and airtight and for it to keep us 100% safe. But 100% safety is unattainable. Embracing a bit of risk could reduce the hassle of today's airport experience while making us safer at the same time.

Over the past 10 years, most Americans have had extensive personal experience with the TSA, and this familiarity has bred contempt. People often suggest that the U.S. should adopt the "Israeli method" of airport security—which relies on less screening of banned items and more interviewing of passengers. But Israeli citizens accept the continued existence of a common enemy that requires them to tolerate necessary inconveniences, and they know that terror plots are ongoing.

In America, any successful attack—no matter how small—is likely to lead to a series of public recriminations and witch hunts. But security is a series of trade-offs. We've made it through the 10 years after 9/11 without another attack, something that was not a given. But no security system can be maintained over the long term without public support and cooperation. If Americans are ready to embrace risk, it is time to strike a new balance.

Oh, they can not even police their own how they going to police the terrorist?

TSA inspector accused of stealing iPads at DFW Airport

A Transportation Security Administration baggage inspector at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport has been indicted in the theft of Apple iPads from luggage over eight months.
Clayton Keith Dovel, 36, of Bedford was arrested Feb. 1 and has been suspended indefinitely, officials said.
The investigation led to the recovery of eight stolen iPads, including one that was among Dovel's possessions at Terminal E when he was arrested, airport police said.
His attorney, Greg Westfall, declined to comment.
The indictments that the Tarrant County grand jury issued this week charge Dovel with theft by a public servant of items valued at up to $20,000. If convicted, he could face two to 10 years in prison.
According to airport police, a traveler reported Jan. 24 that his iPad 2 had been stolen and that he had traced it electronically to a home in Bedford owned by Dovel.
While arresting Dovel in that case, airport police discovered another iPad in Dovel's leather satchel. Dovel told authorities that the iPad was his but that he couldn't remember where he bought it, according to police reports.
Using that iPad's serial number, police traced it to a Grand Prairie man who had reported that it was stolen as he traveled through Terminal E in May.
In the indictment, Dovel is also accused of stealing iPads in November and early January.
The TSA issued a statement calling the arrest part of a "zero-tolerance policy for allegations of misconduct or theft" at the airport.
"The unacceptable behavior of this individual in no way reflects the dedication of our nearly 50,000 Transportation Security officers who work tirelessly to keep our skies safe," the agency said.
Dovel is free on $5,000 bail.