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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 13, 2007 3:30 PM. The previous post in this blog was Old friend. The next post in this blog is Beavers, Beavers, fighters through and through. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Next freedom we'll lose: Travel

You'll have to ask permission from the feds 72 hours before you get on an airplane.

Will somebody tell me what in heaven's name has become of America?

Comments (34)

Yessir Jack I can Tell you what happened to America. The TSA and Homeland Security are afraid Somebody will sue them unless they screw with people that aren't likely to commit any act at all. Back in the 80's they passed a immigration bill that included amnesty It also had a provision for the employer to verify your citizenship to qualify for employment. I had worked at the place for about 10 years,served my country well had a national security clearance and still had to prove I was a citizen before I was allowed to go back to work.I believe that the tolerant lobby has pretty much messed America Up.

I think what happened was that people who hate our freedoms and our wealth attacked us. And in so doing, they began a process by which those freedoms and wealth are being destroyed.

They clearly won. The only things they didn't get were our arrogance and stupidity.

they have plenty of their own arrogance and stupidity. They certainly don't need ours.

There's no right to fly. There is a right to travel I guess. Reasonable restrictions on air travel aimed at preventing a terrorist hijacking and WTC type event seems ok to me. Your commentary comes off as a bit hysterical Jack. But I guess you want to elicit responses, and hysterics will elicit responses.

I think the place to start is with profiling. The guys who did the WTC and Pentagon attacks were not named Sundberg or Kowalski, and they didn't look like Sundbergs or Kowalskis. Those are the guys we should be looking for. With an emphasis on the look part. It'd be a hellouva lot more efficient, and less trouble to everyone.

But it'd also be constitutionall iffy.

However, that's not to say it shouldn't be at least tried. I'm sick of being in line at the airport while little old ladies from Prineville take their shoes off and have their bags randomly searched.

Time for me to start Nude Airlines where everybody travels in the raw.

You will send your luggage on an earlier flight and when its your turn we will provide a quick cavity search and aboard you go!

I'll make a killing selling disposable cushion covers.

Just be sure you don't forget your Visa Card number and expiration date.

Otherwise your leg muscles will cramp-up about half an hour into the flight.

Gee Abe maybe we should have our Visa number tattooed on our wrist as was done in another country not too long ago, but that wasn't a Visa number was it.

If one really wanted to create havoc one wouldn't use a plane. That's been done.

BGTI

It's a mistake to assume all of this is a response to 9/11, especially since many of the worst parts were already being planned before 9/11.
They didn't start writing the Patriot Act on 9/12.

Yes, don't be surprised if you've shown up at one too many anti-war protests, that you'll be denied the right to fly. They won't have to tell you why.

It took 220 years for America to become civilized and it took Clinton and Bush 16 years to Decivilize Amerika.

It's a mistake to assume all of this is a response to 9/11, especially since many of the worst parts were already being planned before 9/11.
They didn't start writing the Patriot Act on 9/12.

This comment hits the nail square on the head. Why does it take comics to point out facts around here?

If you feel the need to be at a bedside for the passing of a relative, please instruct them to contact TSA and you at least 72 hours before passing on in order to be in compliance with all travel rules. By the way, we had best get a law passes "no more accidental deaths allowed. You must inform all parties concerned 72 hours prior to your accident, so they may be cleared to fly.

Has anyone ever heard someone say, "If you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about"?

I am starting to regret not kicking every person who ever said this in the b***s as soon as the words came out of their mouths. If someone ever says it to me again, I might snap.

I'd guess what will get lost will depend entirely on just how scared the American public continues to be. There sure won't be a push back as long as they subsctibe to BushCo's fearmongering. Fear and anger make for poor decision making, thus its effectiveness as a political tool of a certain type of individual.

Anybody remember crawling under school desks? How about HUAC and the Senate's bastard child SSC? Go back aways and there's plenty more. Land of the free, home of the brave are just lyrics.

You all have nothing to worry about because the government knows what is best for us. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Now get your mind right and help bring in the big win for the home team!

The people are sheep.

"The guys who did the WTC and Pentagon attacks were not named Sundberg or Kowalski"

Let's not forget someone named McVeigh... Dark skinned people don't have a monopoly on bad deeds.

It's a mistake to assume all of this is a response to 9/11, especially since many of the worst parts were already being planned before 9/11.
They didn't start writing the Patriot Act on 9/12.

Thats because most of it was laws already on the books for dealing with drug traffickers. Nobody started complaining until they added the word "terrorist" to those laws. (Oh, and because Bush was in office when they found out about it.)

This sounds like a stupid proposed rule, but I'm not sure it says what you think it says. From you link:

[TSA] would request certain information from passengers at the time of booking and transmit that information to TSA "approximately 72 hours prior to the scheduled flight departure time." .... " For reservations and ticket changes within 72 hours, TSA would require airlines to transmit information "immediately."

So, they'd transmit info to the feds 72 hours before the flight (but not before) - and any changes inside that 72 hours would go instantly.

Still troubling, though.

I can read. It also says:

... airlines would request certain information from passengers at the time of booking and transmit that information to TSA "approximately 72 hours prior to the scheduled flight departure time."...

"This proposed rule would not compel the passenger ... to provide the majority of the information," according to TSA's NPRM. "However, if that individual elected not to provide the requested information, TSA may have insufficient information to distinguish him or her from a person on the watch list. Accordingly, the individual may be more likely to experience delays, be subject to additional screening, be denied transport, or be denied authorization to enter a sterile area."...

Lotterer also questioned the logistics of communication between TSA and airlines for reservations and ticket changes made within 72 hours of departure. "You're in effect putting the government into the business process of having passengers denied boarding at the last minute," he said. "And I guess the airlines--I would think all of the airlines--would be very nervous about a government entity so intimately involved in their business process of getting customers on board their [airplanes]."

Most of it? Okay, how many of the 342 pages of the Patriot Act are not new? How about the part recently challenged here in Portland that allowed the government to search your house with a special warrant not issued by a judge, and without even informing you they had been there?
And suggesting that this is driven by my negative feelings concerning George Bush is a tired, tedious part of the playbook. It's more about a love of freedom and the 4th amendment to the Constitution. Actually, I would guess it's your feelings of fondness for George Bush that are in play here. You shouldn't put a man crush for George Bush ahead of America.
Or is it dreams of Dick Cheney tucking you in at night that makes you feel safe?

Or is it dreams of Dick Cheney tucking you in at night

Dreams indeed, Bill. Cheney would undoubtedly tell you just to go tuck yourself.

Okay, how many of the 342 pages of the Patriot Act are not new?

The Patriot Act itself is new, yes. But it was an expansion of existing laws.
Particularly in the wiretapping and sureveillance areas. The laws did not specifically list crimes of terrorism, so they added them so some crazy lawyer couldnt claim there wasnt a law in place regarding investigation of an alleged terrorist's actions.


Or is it dreams of Dick Cheney tucking you in at night that makes you feel safe?

Actually, I just like the idea of them doing something to try and catch these bastards before they kill people, not just punishing them afterward.


Jon,
Are we the one and only generation in American History that ever had anything to worry about? Start with the early settlers heading out West. Did they have anything to fear? Did they run back to the safety of the fort and say, "Just let us stay here in the confines of these walls. We'll do what you ask and follow your rules - just make us safe"? No, they said, we want to be free and they went out and took their chances. From those days until today a lot of Americans have gone into some very scary situations to assure our freedoms. Now we come along, saying things like, "9/11 changed everything" to justify giving up these hard-earned freedoms in exchange for the promise of safety. Listen to the National Anthem: The first verse asks a question. Is this still the Home of the Brave? The answer to that is "Not right now." Right now it is the Home of the Scared, and the ridiculous thing is that the right wingers actually think they're sounding tough as they give into the government. I think a better course of action would be to remain free and if we get attacked to go after those who attack us. But throwing out centuries of American values just because we are scared is a disgrace.

Bill-

I think we are free, we still do take chances. Nothing I do has been altered.
But I certainly dont want another 9/11 to happen. Isnt it our government's job to protect us?
I mean c'mon, some of the first complaints after 9/11 were that the government didnt do enough to stop it from happening in the first place.

"Nothing I do has been altered."

The extent to which your government can lawfully keep track of you and invade your privacy has been altered, whether you choose to realize it or not.

So has the way the government can treat you if it deems you an "enemy combatant."

Perhaps you trust your government not to abuse the personal information and power you cede it so eagerly in your fear of 9/11, Jon. Many of us do not.

"But I certainly dont want another 9/11 to happen. Isnt it our government's job to protect us? I mean c'mon, some of the first complaints after 9/11 were that the government didnt do enough to stop it from happening in the first place."

"Do enough to stop" is not the same as "throw out the Bill of Rights." Spit out the Kool-Aid, now.

Letting the government warrantlessly wiretap, hold indefinitely without charges, and so on, will not prevent another 9/11. It was bad coordination between the CIA and the FBI that enabled 9/11.

We don't need to give up habeas corpus and basic rights to be safe--we just need some good police work.

Bill: Very well said. Bravo.

we just need some good police work.

apparently, we just cant do the police work until more people die....

My parents both served in France during World War 2. My Mom was in the Red Cross and she told me about going below deck in a big crowded ship out in the middle of the Atlantic at night, knowing there were Nazi subs trying to sink it.
I doubt very many Americans here in the States have felt that kind of immediate danger during the so-called "Global War on Terror"- a "war that will not end in our lifetimes."
It bothers me that my generation is so quick to play it safe when we've had it so soft all these years.
We're too quick to give up these freedoms that others risked their lives to protect and give to us.
We've got to toughen up emotionally and make sure the great parts of America don't end on our watch.
And by the way, my Mom thought George W. Bush was a sad joke.

"apparently, we just cant do the police work until more people die...."

By "good police work" I meant smart intelligence work to foil terrorist plots, e.g. better coordinating and sharing of information between agencies like the FBI and CIA.

Why can't we do that until more people die?

What do you mean? Care to explain?

I'm concerned about how the information turn-over appears to work. While the "passenger" only has to provide the basic name information, the "covered aircraft operator" has to turn over everything available to them.

Even if many folks interested in their privacy start using only their names, if they've signed up for those frequent flyer cards, the airline apparently has to turn over any available information, not just the information processed for the current reservation.

Also, when you give your address and more to eAirlineTicket.com to purchase the ticket, what portion does the airline get? It appears that the passenger's supposed choice in only providing a name is overshadowed by the realities of ticketing -- and since the airline is the disclosing party, they have no interest in respecting your requests for privacy -- their interest is in giving the feds everything ... both from a CYA perspective and a regulatory perspective.

I think the real problem isn't the security, but the combination of:

ridiculously high prices for plane tickets;

inability to find a flight that just goes where I want without having to change plans in Dallas and Atlanta;

flights consistently being so late passenges miss connections;

overbooking;

luggage that somehow ends up in different state;

... I could go on.

Seriously, if it was possible to simply fill out a flight application a week in advance and let some faceless, nameless bureaucracy pre-screen me, then show up a at the airport an hour before flight time and walk through a fast and unobtrusive scanner that told the attendant what I had for breakfast that morning, then hop on a direct flight wherever I want to go that will get me there on time, with my baggage, for $99, I'd be flying every weekend... and not giving a crap about the evil Bush/Cheney/Rove/Halliburtion whatever or my lack of civil liberties.

But with air travel what it is right now, they could instantly revert all security back to a 9/10 mindset and I still wouldn't pay money to fly across country.

Why can't we do that until more people die?

What do you mean? Care to explain?

People are not going to let some real work happen to find these bastards until there is another attack on US soil.
Im mean c'mon...you're worried about the feds listening in on your phone call? Who the f*** are you calling that would make them care? They arent going to do anything unless there is a real reason to look at you.
As for the local case...if you are directly involved with a charity that is suspected of laundering money for terrorists, you should be looked at. Especially after 9/11. If you are lawyer for alleged terrorists, you should have your background checked. If your fingerprints turn up overseas where a bomb exploded, you should be held & questioned.
He was not charged for that bombing...the system worked.

"They arent going to do anything unless there is a real reason to look at you."

You certainly have a lot of faith and trust in your government not to abuse its increased powers to spy on on you, Jon.

Again, many of us do not share your confidence in the benevolence of our government's intentions.

"if you are directly involved with a charity that is suspected of laundering money for terrorists, you should be looked at. Especially after 9/11. If you are lawyer for alleged terrorists, you should have your background checked. If your fingerprints turn up overseas where a bomb exploded, you should be held & questioned.
He was not charged for that bombing...the system worked."

You should have the government sneak and peek in your home without a warrant and without your knowledge?

You should be held for two weeks based on shoddy police work that misidentifies a partial fingerprint as yours?

If the system worked so well, why did the government feel obliged to pay Mayfield $2 million to drop his civil rights claims?

"People are not going to let some real work happen to find these bastards until there is another attack on US soil."

With all due respect, Jon, that explains nothing.

Which people?

Which bastards?

What do you mean by "real work"?

And why do you think another attack on US soil the pre-requisite for it all to happen?

I mean cmon...

I have read most all the comments on this blog. Bottom line is - all rights are being stipped away under the auspice of homeland security. Interpreted that means they can hide behind rationale to create the dictatorship that is enevitably coming if people dont start pulling their heads out of the... I will replace the word I was going to use with "sand". It is not about rights to do this or that it is about personal freedoms to make the choice. That is what is being lost. This blog is focused on air travel. What about gun control and other such nonsense??? If the government U.S. or Canadian REALLY wanted to prevent terrorist hijacking they would quit letting "these types" into our countries - people with known activities that are not conducive to the upstanding citizen types!!! There is no restriction that I could deem reasonable for those of us who have never committed any act that is harmful to self or others. I do not find this commentary to be one of eliciting hysterics but rather a huge wake up call to all of us. From this I conclude there is nothing wrong with the Jack's of this world only the *** that believe their freedoms can be taken for granted and will never again be infringed on. Thank you Jack!


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