Archive for the ‘TSA’ Category

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke to Spanish language Univision network this weekend about the immigration bill he has been pushing.  The interview was in RubioConventionSpanish but this is some of the English translation:

“Let’s be clear.  Nobody is talking about preventing the legalization. The legalization is going to happen. That means the following will happen: First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border. And then comes the process of permanent residence.”

And this:

“As for the legalization, the enormous majority of my colleagues have accepted that it has to happen and that it has to begin at the same time we begin the measures for [the border.]  It is not conditional. The legalization is not conditional.”

And there you have it.  The legalization is NOT conditional.

We have been told all about the “triggers” that will be put in place to ensure that our borders are being secured – criteria that will have to be met in order for the provisions of the bill concerning the future of illegal aliens to continue to be implemented.

But once these folks have legal status will anyone in Washington care about those triggers?  Based on their track record of border “security” do we have any reason to believe that this time it will be different?  There’s a lot to talk about here.  For today, I’m looking at this in the context of recent events – the steady stream of scandals coming out of the Obama administration.

Illegal aliens are always presented to us as “undocumented workers.”  They are poor, hard-working Mexicans simply doing what they have to in order to feed their families.  Rarely do we talk about all the criminal gang members or the OTMs – Other Than Mexicans – people from all around the world entering the US by way of our southern border.

Depending on who’s talking, we hear that we have 11 million to 20 million illegals in the country.  My personal opinion is that there are far more, but the truth is that no one knows for certain because we simply don’t know who is here or where they came from.

Our federal government has a long history of not only ignoring security at our southern border, but actively preventing it.  The Obama administration continues the tradition by limiting the authority of our border patrol agents and stepping in to stop Border States from enforcing the law to stop the flow of illegals.

But while our government looks the other way and allows anyone, including people from terrorist countries to slip in to the US, we citizens of America are having our rights taken away by that same government in the name of security.  The NSA is collecting our private correspondence, the IRS is monitoring our speech, the TSA subjects us to illegal searches and there is a massive effort to strip us of our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

And that’s just a small sampling of the current abuse directed at American citizens.

More than a decade has passed since the attacks of 9/11/01.  That’s more than enough time for our leaders to have locked down our border and assured us that no one gets in that we don’t know about.  Congress even passed a law in 2006 mandating a fence along that border.  That fence remains uncompleted today.

Remember Congressman Chaffetz’ visit to the border just a couple of months ago?

Again, our government allows a daily flow of foreigners across our border, but my private correspondence is subject to government scrutiny?  And it’s all done for my own good?

Senator Rubio, if you’re out there – you’re my senator.  I would be far better served if you would stand up for my rights, guaranteed to me under the Constitution that you swore to protect, instead of being so dedicated to the “rights” you believe we owe to people who have broken our law as their first act on our soil.  Your obligation is to American citizens and to the security and sovereignty of the nation, not to those who would abuse our generosity for their personal enrichment, or worse, to do us harm.


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In 2007, candidate Obama complained about wiretapping done by the Bush administration.

It would be funny if it weren’t so very serious.

We find ourselves 6 years later with an IRS that isn’t satisfied with all that they already know about some of us and who soon will have access to all our private medical records.  The police can collect our DNA at will.  The DHS insists it has legal access to our laptops and phones.  We are subject to humiliating searches by the TSA.  The Justice Department spies on the press.

And now the NSA and FBI are snooping through our phone records and every keystroke we make on our computers.

We’re told they need to do this to keep us safe.  They’re mining all this data, looking for patterns that will help them find terrorists before they can do their dirty work.

Oh for Heaven’s sake!  The Russians called us on the phone and said, “Hey, that guy in Boston is a bad one – you better watch him!”  We ended up with three dead and dozens of missing limbs.  But we’re supposed to tolerate another loss of privacy because our government plans to uncover some super-secret spy plan?

Is this Obama’s version of liberty and justice?  His version of restoring our privacy?  It sounded great when he said all that in 2007, when he wanted our votes.  But does today’s America look anything like the one he promised back then?

We all want to be safe.  We want to protect ourselves and those we love.  But what price are we willing to pay for it all?  We are watching abuse of power play out on the TV news each night now.  Too many of those in charge are taking advantage of the trust we put in them.

Last year when I was entertaining the idea of starting this blog, I hesitated, wondering if it was a good idea to put my politics and my views into such a public forum.  And after seeing what the IRS did to tea party groups, it’s clear my concerns were on a solid foundation.  And these are the same people who will be at the controls of my healthcare in the near future.  Will Liberty Trail be in play when I require some medical attention?

But now it seems that we are not even left with that choice.  By simply visiting here or other places on the World Wide Web, is each of us being categorized by our politics?  By our loyalty to one party or another?  A 2009 report from DHS said that “right-wing extremism” was on the rise and issued caution of such groups to law enforcement.  Well, what’s their definition of extremism?

We’re in shaky territory here.  And it’s time for Americans to decide what our nation will be in the future.  Will fear and simple indifference destroy the liberties our founders fought for and passed on to us?  Or will we defend what is ours, what so many have fought and died for, our freedom to speak our minds and live our lives unencumbered by a prying, overbearing government?

I’ve made my decision.  What will you do?


Extra reading:  WaPo data mining story

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The federal government has been taking a tremendous amount of heat lately, much of it based on how badly they have treated people associated with the tea parties.  One might think that they would be very, very careful about how they treat such citizens at a time when they are under such scrutiny.

But one would be wrong.

It seems that the arrogance of our current administration doesn’t have boundaries.  This video is from a tea party protest in St. Louis last Tuesday outside the local IRS office.  It’s a bit long.  You don’t need to view the entire video, but I wanted you to see the people doing the protesting and those watching them.

Do those protesters look dangerous to you?  I see men in business suits, grandmas with walkers and pretty average, unthreatening folks.  But note who is watching over them – Department of Homeland Security’s federal police force.

It’s been reported that these police officers from DHS were at similar protests all around the country, many of them in plain clothes, moving through the crowds.

The DHS was presented to us 11 years ago as a means to consolidate intelligence gathering and protect our airports and our borders.  But look how this massive agency has grown and morphed.

Now they send these guys to watch over American grandmothers with walkers.


While at our airports they send these guys


to watch for this guy.

BritTerroristThe TSA has grown so fast that many of those “agents” at our airports haven’t yet even been screened by the FBI.  We have no idea how many felons and convicted sex offenders are sexually molesting our grandkids at our airports under the cover of national security.  These “agents” have minimal training and those badges they wear are unearned.

Meanwhile, the actual trained law enforcement force they do have is sent out to intimidate American citizens exercising their Constitutional rights.

There’s something very, very wrong with this picture.  This is not the America of our Founders.

What more do people need to see in order to understand what’s going on?


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If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally …you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the only school curriculum allowed to explain how we got here is evolution, but the government stops a $15 million construction project to keep a rare spider from evolving to extinction … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote who runs the government … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If, in the largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If an 80-year-old woman can be stripped searched by the TSA but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing and free cell phones … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the government’s plan for getting people back to work is to incentivize NOT working with 99 weeks of unemployment checks and no requirement to prove they applied but can’t find work … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more “safe” according to the government … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

– Variations of this are going around.  I was unable to identify an original author, but would be happy to give credit if you know who that may be.  Most likely this has grown and changed as it goes from inbox to inbox.

And please feel free to add your own entries.  There are many, many more, I’m sure.


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Congressman Duncan Hunter has formally asked the TSA to explain their repulsive treatment of a wounded Marine at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix last week.

According to Hunter, the Marine lost both his legs in an IED attack and is still on active duty.

The Congressman says, “A TSA officer asked the Marine to stand and walk to an alternate area, despite  the fact that he physically could not stand or walk on his own. With numerous  TSA officers sitting and unwilling to assist, an officer then made him remove  his legs, then put them back on, only to advance to a secondary screening  location where he was asked again to stand, with extraordinary difficulty, while  his wheelchair was examined for explosives.”

You can read more about the TSA’s disrespectful behavior in The Washington Times Report here.

Can we keep in mind that the “qualifications” for our TSA agents is a GED or a year’s experience as an X-Ray tech.  The TSA also requires a clean record, but as we all know they don’t check, as numerous criminals have been found to be on the job, assaulting our mothers and children.

Compare that to a United States Marine who has given his limbs in service to his country.  And still remains on the job!

And he’s treated to such hostility in his own country?

This story makes me sick to my stomach.  I’m certain that the TSA will give Congressman Hunter their usual answer about how they hold their people to the highest standards and that the individuals involved will be sent for sensitivity training.  They have no more respect for a United States Congressman than they do for a United States Marine.  Why should they?  They are not held accountable for any of their contemptible behavior.

They answer only to DHS Secretary Napolitano.


And it seems that the TSA is running exactly as she wants it to be run.


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We haven’t talked about the TSA lately.  It’s been such a busy time defending our 2nd Amendment rights, one fiscal “crisis” after another, the cover-up of Benghazi…

I never did get to report about 3 year-old Lucy Forck, who was terrorized by the TSA on her way to Disney World.


They took away her Lambie and then pulled her and her little wheelchair out of line for “extra screening.”

“I don’t want to go to Disney World,” she cried.  At 3, even Lucy knows what the TSA is doing is wrong – so wrong, she was willing to pass on Mickey Mouse just to get away from them.

The New York Post ran an editorial yesterday that they claim was written by a former TSA agent.  I wouldn’t normally offer something that the author wouldn’t sign his name to, but knowing how punitive our government has been acting lately, and having observed the TSA since it’s inception, I must say that I believe every word.  You can judge for yourself.



A LOT of what we do is make-believe.

I’ve had to screen small children and explain to their parents I had no choice but to “check” them. I would only place my hands on their arms and bottom half of their legs, and the entire “pat-down” lasted 10 seconds. This goes completely against TSA procedure.

Because the cameras are recording our every move, we have to do something. If someone isn’t checked or even screened properly, the entire terminal would shut down, as this constitutes a security breach.

But since most TSA supervisors are too daft to actually supervise, bending the rules is easy to do.

Did you know you don’t need a high-school diploma or GED to work as a security screener? These are the same screeners that TSA chief John Pistole and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refer to as a first-class first line of defense in the war on terror.

These are the employees who could never keep a job in the private sector. I wouldn’t trust them to walk my dog.

An agent got through Newark last week with an improvised explosive device? That’s not even news to anyone who works there. It happens all the time. The failure rate is pretty high, especially with federal investigators, and the pat-down itself is ridiculous. As invasive as it is, you still can’t find anything using the back of your hand on certain areas.

When there are internal tests, conducted by the Newark training department, it’s easy to cheat because they use our co-workers. You could be working with someone all morning, and then they’re gone. Word gets around the checkpoint. Someone will come over to you and say, “Hey, it’s Joe. He’s got a blue duffel bag.”

What are the chances of you being on a flight where something happens? We always said it’s not a question of if terrorists get through — it’s a question of when. Our feeling is nothing’s happened because they haven’t wanted it to happen. We’re not any big deterrent. It’s all for show.

A real pat-down is when a police officer pulls you over, uses his hands to search, actually goes into your clothes. We have to use the back of our hands around certain areas. It just doesn’t work. It’s a really bad way to pat somebody down.

If I had to guess, I’m sure lots of things get through. One screener told me about something he did going through security when he went on vacation. Let’s just say the screeners did not catch something that was really obvious to anyone who was paying attention.

Most TSA screeners know their job is a complete joke. Their goal is to use this as a stepping stone to another government agency.

We work in a culture where common sense has no place. All but a very few TSA personnel know they’re employed by a bottom-of-the-barrel agency.

Our first question to anyone in a wheelchair is to ask if they’re able to stand for a pat-down. If someone is in a wheelchair, he likely can’t stand. Even when they’re sitting, we’re required to ask them to move so we can check under their buttocks.

All I needed was for a passenger to fall over because I asked them to stand. And if that did happen, the screener would be vilified and the official p.r. spin would be that he needed “additional training.”

Every time you read about a TSA horror story, it’s usually about a screener doing what he or she is instructed to do.

Supervisors play absolutely no role in day-to-day functions except to tell you not to chew gum. Gum chewing is a huge issue with management. I once saw a supervisor make an officer open his mouth to prove he had a mint and not a piece of gum.

Goofing off and half-hour-long bathroom breaks are the only way to break up the monotony. There is also a lot of ogling of female passengers by the male screeners. So, ladies, cover up when you get to the airport. These guys are checking you out constantly.

A small number of screeners are delusional zealots who believe they’re keeping America safe by taking your snow globe, your 2-inch pocket knife, your 4-ounce bottle of shampoo and performing invasive pat-downs on your kids.

(Incidentally, the flap over the new rule allowing small pocketknives is overblown. Most of the public doesn’t realize it, but you are already allowed to bring scissors, screwdrivers, tweezers, knitting needles and any number of sharp instruments on board.)

The rest are only there for the paycheck and generous benefits. Screeners start at $15 per hour, and there is tons of overtime — mainly because they are filling in for the many screeners who don’t bother coming to work. For every 40 hours you work, you receive four hours of vacation and four hours of sick time.

One screener didn’t come to work for four weeks. When he finally reappeared, he asked for another week off. The answer was no. So what did this brainiac decide to do? He took another week off — and didn’t get terminated.

People have been caught falling asleep on the job. They get written up, it’s put in their file, and that’s it.

New hires see how bad it is working there, and, believe it or not, TSA does manage to hire some pretty decent people. They just don’t last because they can get a normal job.

It’s the people who’ve been there a good number of years who could never find employment elsewhere. When you have a real job, it usually means you have to actually work and think, which a lot of them have a hard time doing.

Anyone boarding an aircraft should feel maybe only a teeny tiny bit safer than if there were no TSA at all.

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The Olympic amputee who killed his girlfriend has fallen off the front page.  He’s been replaced by Casey Anthony, Dennis Rodman and the crazy woman who killed her boyfriend and is now channeling Jon Lovitz to explain her innocence.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

I understand a certain level of fascination with these stories.  Everyone stops to watch the train wreck.  But I don’t want to know every detail and I don’t need “expert” analysis.  Do you?  Does the media simply give us what we want or do they spoon-feed us this stuff?

Everyone is outraged by the nurse at the California assisted living facility who refused to give CPR to a dying woman because of company policy and insurance concerns.  As I write this, no charges have been filed as authorities look for any laws that were broken.  The flip-side story is of a 16 year-old Florida student who saved a classmate when he wrestled a handgun away from a third student who held that gun to the head of student number two.  That brave young man was suspended from school for saving a life.

The insanity at our schools also tagged 7 year-old Josh Welch of Baltimore.  A teacher claims that Josh ate his Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.  This got himPopTartGun suspended for the offense of “using food to make an inappropriate gesture.”  Young Josh maintains he is innocent and says he was merely trying to shape the Pop-Tart into a mountain.

And then there’s the government insanity.  We know that in the past year the Department of Homeland Security has purchased more than 1.6 billion bullets and 7,000 fully automatic assault rifles, all of which has raised some eyebrows.  This week we learned that DHS has purchased 2,700 MRAPs-Mine Resistant Armor Protected vehicles.


All the conspiracy theorists are in full swing and even those not prone to participate are scratching their heads, wondering what DHS has planned for all this firepower.  I haven’t been able to learn yet how much each of these vehicles cost, but it seems odd at a time when DHS is crying over budgetary woes.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has told us to expect delays at our airports as she won’t be able to supply enough TSA agents to keep security lines moving and that some airports will be losing air traffic controllers.  She says she’ll be pulling border patrol agents off the job and promises our border will be less secure.  Last week ICE released 2,000 criminal illegals back on to the street and plans to release 3,000 more in the near future, all as a money-saving effort.

And fresh off the sequester battle when President Obama warned we don’t have enough money to support American children with disabilities, our new Secretary of State John Kerry approves $250 million in aid to Egypt, whose new leader is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.

If the world doesn’t make a lot of sense to you lately, you’re not alone.  It’s upside-down and inside-out.  Trying to figure out who’s honest and who’s the liar seems to be a task of Sisyphus some days.

Maybe that’s why the media offers us Casey Anthony.  It’s fairly simple to process a fallen soul and we can be made to feel better, knowing at least some justice gets dished out.  She may have beaten the murder charge, but her life doesn’t seem too pleasant.

It’s harder to watch the dishonest folks who get away with their duplicitous deeds.  That just makes us feel like saps for doing the right thing day after day.

And the day America runs out of honest saps doing the right thing is the day it’s all over.


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President Obama gave a speech this morning.  He’s upset about the impending “sequester” which, as we all know, was his own idea.  From his remarks:

“Now, if Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research.  It won’t consider whether we’re cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or a vital service that Americans depend on every single day.  It doesn’t make those distinctions.

Emergency responders like the ones who are here today — their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded.  Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced.  FBI agents will be furloughed.  Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go.  Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country.  Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off.  Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.”

And this:

“So now Republicans in Congress face a simple choice:  Are they willing to compromise to protect vital investments in education and health care and national security and all the jobs that depend on them?  Or would they rather put hundreds of thousands of jobs and our entire economy at risk just to protect a few special interest tax loopholes that benefit only the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations?  That’s the choice.

Are you willing to see a bunch of first responders lose their job because you want to protect some special interest tax loophole?  Are you willing to have teachers laid off, or kids not have access to Head Start, or deeper cuts in student loan programs just because you want to protect a special tax interest loophole that the vast majority of Americans don’t benefit from? Are you willing to see swarms of locusts and a great flood destroy the nation’s food supply?  That’s the choice.  That’s the question.”

OK, I added the part about the locusts and the flood.  But gee whiz – all this for a cut of $85 billion?

If we can have all these things Obama has listed for $85 billion why are we spending $3.6 trillion each year?  Why are we in debt?  Where is all the rest of that money going?


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A TSA agent exposed the breasts of a 17-year-old girl at LAX during a security pat-down.  She happens to be the grandniece of a member of Congress, so maybe, just maybe, someone in Washington will try to get some control over this out-of-control bunch.

This is sexual assault on a minor.  There is no excuse and no apology can fix this.

How much more are you willing to tolerate?  Would you be good with all this if this happened to your wife?  Your daughter?  Your sister?  Your grandchild?

Twitchy is following the events.

Liberty Trail Update:

This assault happened two years ago in Georgia.  Apparently TSA has only released info now under Freedom Of Information Act.

The agent was given more “training” and apparently is still on the job.

From The Daily Mail


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We haven’t visted the TSA lately.  Let’s do a little catching up.

From The Washington Post:

SEATTLE — A leukemia patient making what she calls an “end-of-life” trip to Hawaii says she was embarrassed by security agents at the Seattle airport who refused her request for a private pat-down and made her lift her shirt and pull back her bandages.  Michelle Dunaj also says an agent at Sea-Tac Airport opened a saline bag, contaminating fluid she needs to survive.

TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis tells KOMO-TV it’s against policy to deny a private screening for passengers who request it. The agency is investigating.

The security screening happened last week as the Detroit-area woman was traveling through Seattle to Hawaii.  Dunaj says she thought she had prepared, calling the airline ahead of time to request a wheelchair and ask how to send her medicines through security.

From Steve Watson at Prison Planet:

Breast cancer survivor Marcia Deitrick has described a recent experience at the hands of the TSA as “humiliating”, and has called for screeners to be properly trained to accommodate millions of others like her.

Deitrick, who underwent bilateral mastectomies in 2007, told reporters that screeners at Kansas City International Airport took issue with her body scars after she passed through a body scanner.

One screener radioed a superior to report “an anomaly,” before asking Deitrick, who has silicone breast implants and 20 inches of scar tissue from chemotherapy, if she was wearing something on her chest.

“Then she ran the backs of her hands around my breasts in full view of everybody,” Deitrick told KCTV 5 news in an interview. “She was nice, she was polite. But she didn’t ask me if I wanted a private screening.  I actually stood there thinking these people probably think I’m doing something wrong, that either there’s something wrong with my body or I’ve done something wrong,” Deitrick said.

“I do not want somebody touching me,” Deitrick added, noting that the TSA conducting pat downs on people who have endured such procedures “adds insult to injury.  I was just so shocked that I was numb and as the days went by, I got angry. I thought, ‘I don’t want this to happen to me again, and I don’t want it to happen to another woman either.  I’m not an anomaly. I’m the reality of breast cancer just like those other 2.9 million women are, and I think that we deserve better when we go through airport screening. We deserve to have TSA screeners who know what they’re looking at,”

In another case reported earlier this year, Cindy Gates, a cancer survivor who had a mastectomy two and a half years ago, was interrogated at Sky Harbor Airport and forced to remove her prosthetic breast in public.

“I told them when I went through the scanner that it would show up differently,” Gates said. The agent wanted to do a pat down but I asked for a private screening and she said ‘no.’ She then started feeling my breast.”

In yet another case, a Charlotte-area flight attendant was forced by a TSA agent to show her prosthetic breast during a pat-down in late 2010.

“The only reason I’m bringing this up,” Cathy Bossi told the media at the time, “is that I do believe the government is getting too intrusive with our bodies.  I do believe in security.  I honest to God believe in security.  But I do believe it has gone too far.”

Breast cancer survivor Nancy Stordahl reported on her blog earlier this year that TSA agents seem to have little, if any, understanding of what to expect when they encounter survivors.   “…it seems like there should be more consistency in what’s allowed and what isn’t. It seems like TSA workers should be better trained to recognize such things as lymphedema sleeves. It seems as if a little more sensitivity should be part of their job training.” Stordahl wrote following uncomfortable experiences of her own.


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