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Monday, April 23, 2012

Amerika 2012

This is just incredible. Now they're doing random searches of people riding city buses?

Unlike the bobbleheads running Tri-Met, we are all for security on transit. But pat-downs for no reason by the TSA goons? Wow. Obama sure hasn't turned out to be quite the civil libertarian that he seemed to be.

Maybe the Supreme Court will... uh, never mind.

Comments (41)

I guess one is either a TSA employee or not a TSA employee.
I suppose this is one way to give people with a GED a job, if they can't learn to be a barista.

The goal is to turn America into a complete Third World country, complete with mandatory police roadblocks when you drive between cities.

While I don't share Random's thoughts on what the endpoint for all of this is, I certainly can agree somewhat with what he says is the "goal".

It isn't a 3rd world country, Random. It's a European Socialist state that Obama and his friends want where all of your "needs" are taken care of for the price of a bit of your freedom and liberty.

All of you who voted for Obama in 2008, what did you expect when he said he wanted to transform this country? At least now you know what your hope and change turned out to be. Hope you like it.

"Wow. Obama sure hasn't turned out to be quite the civil libertarian that he seemed to be."

Well, maybe so.

Or maybe most people thought that behavior was only bad when Bush did it.

The new normal.

BoJack has now made the complete turn to libertarian. Please quit denying it; you just cited to the same place (RT) that Glenn Greenwald and Lew Rockwell are allowed to ply their trades.

Front page piece in the O this morning describes how Portland Police Bureau wants to install surveillance cameras in drug traffic areas. Really? I feel safer already....

BoJack has now made the complete turn to libertarian.

Well, to a point maybe. But ask him about socialized medicine ("the public option") and watch the hammer and sickle come out.

Maybe he just recognizes that to a large extent medicine is socialized (Medicare, Medicaid, VA, Military, State and Local Hospitals and health clinics, public funding of orgs like Planned Parenthood) so that it is pointless to have government-mandated middlemen (insurance companies and FDA collaborating drug companies) taking cream off the top. PHARMA, AHIP, AHA, and AMA all supported Obamacare.

I have visions of Ben Franklin, and the rest of the founders looking at us going, why did we bother ?

The Corporate Government no longer fears the populace, as long as we have our bread and circuses.

What's next? Are our leader going to try and ban cars and limit how we throw our trash away?

Amerika's latest game host:

Pat Downs!

I could see this coming when everybody got all the flags out after 9/11. The same apparatus that was set up in Communist Russia and Nazi Germany was put in here under the pretense of fighting "terrorism".

Now we are in the next phase- complete submission and state-run planning for every phase of your life- "sustainability"

I thought of our forefathers and those who fought for our freedoms and died for our liberty and freedom.

And if you think you’re safe from this scrutiny by being outside of Houston, think again. The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County say the searches starting in Houston are part of a national pilot program. BusSafe, it says, may be introduced in cities from coast-to-coast.

Last year the TSA hinted that they could be broadening their reach in the near future. When commenting to the Los Angeles Times on TSA’s plans to start doing pat-downs in bus and train stations, air marshal Ray Dineen put it rather simply: "We are not the Airport Security Administration. We take that transportation part seriously."

Maybe one of the lawyers here could answer a question concerning this TSA expansion.

At airports now, once you submit to any screening, and subsequently opt to refuse further intrusive are detained until you submit. There is no such thing as "I now refuse further searches"...once you submit to an initial screening.

Could a bus passenger be detained and/or arrested for refusing to submit to additional intrusive searches? And if you refuse, what criminal charges could be filed against someone refusing to submit?

Will this rule on city buses parallel this airport model? And will all public transportation require the SAME screening rules? (metal objects in tray, remove shoes, no CCW allowed?, No liquids over 3 ounces?)

Or has anyone thought this out?

I see an entirely new legal specialty on the horizon.

Hey, you voted him in.

Yet another reason to resist the green mafia and keep our car. We'll also need to oppose all the reductions in streets: speed bumps, curb bullouts, removing parking for bike racks and bike parking (paid for with gas taxes) reductions in paving, etc.

You wonder if this unconstitutional behavior was more offensive to most people when Bush did it, and I see your point.

The tragedy is that the right wing didn't join with the anti-Bush forces years ago and put a stop to this erosion of our freedoms. Instead they were in their puppy love phase with this cretin and it's extremely annoying to hear them rise to defend the Constitution now.

I've also changed in the way I view the presidency. This extreme focus on how Obama is the cause of all our problems is a deliberate redirection by the higher ups that really run the show. Yes, he's been a tremendous disappointment, but we are wasting our time struggling like opposing football teams.

The true power does not change every 4 years, and it is there that we have to go if we want to seize our liberties back.

I also think the reason so many billions are spent to create this charade of presidential leadership, is that the real powers know that if the American People realize who they should be mad at, this thing could still correct itself. We could still pass America on to the next generations the way it was given to us, but we're running out of time.

We don't have to replace the president as much as we have to replace the people who run the president.

Roy:What's next? Are our leader going to try and ban cars and limit how we throw our trash away?

.............Using the radio frequency chips, employees of the city’s Waste Collection Department would visit homes with inactive recycling bins and sift through their garbage. If the garbage contained more than 10 percent recyclable materials, offenders would be fined $100. Heftier fines of $250 or $500 could be attached to claims that households threw away excessive amounts of trash or too much yard waste.

"I see an entirely new legal specialty on the horizon."

Don't count on it -- they're way ahead of you:

"[A]ll the American institutions that have shamefully contributed to the grotesque War on Terror excesses and the Islamaphobia which fuels them — the Congress, the Executive Branch, the American media, both political parties, the U.S. citizenry — none has been as obsequious or as craven as federal judges. Designed to be the Apolitical Check of Last Resort on executive overreach and vengeance-fueled lawlessness, they have instead become the eager engines of those syndromes."

Earth to Chuck, Earth to Chuck...

What the Hell will it take before you wake up and smell the oppression?

How many liberties have to be taken away before you see the dire straights we are in?

It is not this blog that has gone off the rails, it's our democracy and rights to liberty.

Chuck, it has never happened before. I mean, companies/collaborators like IG Farben and Mitsubushi didn't really use forced labor or anything like that during WWII. It is just a figment of my imagination.

What does Obama have to do with the TSA?

Wasn't it Bush - yes, a Republican - that created the largest expansion of government in recent history by creating the Department of Homeland Security, with the TSA a central part of it that took over tens of thousands of privatized jobs and federalized them, turning poorly trained minimum wage security guards into bona fide federal law enforcement officers (in appearance and perception, if not in legal authority)?

Last time I checked Obama is usually addressed as "Mr President".
And is as such has the final say on what the TSA does...

"Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee held a press conference last week to discuss the details "

. . . . cameras in old town . . .

Thank goodness we have leaders who won't allow the right wingers to get away with these invasions of our liberty.

I don't disagree with Jack's take on the TSA at all, but trying to claim the United States is a "European Socialist State" is idiocy. I'm sorry, it just is.

The total government spending percentages out of GDP are closer than warranting the classification of the claim as "idiocy." US 38.9%, Norway 40.2%, Spain 41.1%, Germany 43.7%, Greece 46.8%, UK 47.3%,Sweden 52.5%, and France 52.8%. 84% of the way there by averaging this sample of European Socialist States. A grade of 84 gets you a 'B' in most schools, which is not quite what you would expect an idiot to get.

How about comparing the tax rates of those European Socialist States to that of the United States. If "spending percentages out of GDP" is the marker, then the US has been a European Socialist State since the 80's.

I'm totally with you on Obama. One of the things I thought I could really trust about him was protection of civil liberties and government accountability. That whole former "constitutional law teacher" thing tricked me. That and what happened to his Kenyan grandfather.

Here's what really gets me, the former VP on the Democratic ticket is on trial--who despite his personal failings ran on a platform of protecting the poor--while the people responsible for torturing others--illegally by every measure--are scot free and bragging about it. Willfully torturing humans vs. some dude that improperly used some cash to hide a love child.

I don't get it, but I do know it breaks my heart.

When the obligation is incurred (money spent) the tax has already been incurred, whether directly collected, through indebtedness which removes capital available to the non-governmental sector, or most perniciously and often as inflation. Nonetheless, all those governments (save Norway) expend far more than they collect directly.

Nothing wrong with torture (although ecstatic/non-painless methods do need to be developed) and surveillance cameras (invisible ones, preferably, so that we are not reminded of where we are headed). And socialized medicine is definitely more efficient than the alternative. Anyone who does not understand this is uninformed.

But pat-downs at random...on the bus...Jesus.

The solution may lie in a dividing line created by identifying key differences between populations. How authorities tap in to that info is the present barrier. Always been law-abiding? Makes you less likely to be searched. Never set foot in a mosque? Ditto. Been to Pakistan lately? Oh, chances are ramping up for an intimate pre-boarding experience. Convicted of dealing meth? Oh oh, time to get the dogs out...

What's idiocy is believing this would be any different under a McCain presidency. Bill McDonald is right, "The true power does not change every 4 years." We're too busy bickering among ourselves about right and left wing politics all the while our basic civil liberties are being trashed.

The true power does not change every 4 years, and it is there that we have to go if we want to seize our liberties back.

Nothing will change for the better until we start eliminating agencies and bureaucrats. They run the show, and it doesn't matter who you vote into office.

Both parties are to blame here. Bush may have started it, but Obama's not only done nothing about it, he's expanded it.

I still maintain that Obama turned into a completely different person once Hilary dropped out of the Democratic primary in 2008.

Keep the masses, scared but placated. Provide cheap food, entertainments, and some toys and keep up the illusion to everyone that "the other" is evil, bad and scary. And of course keep saying that "the other" can take away the food, entertainments, and toys at any time if this, that, or the other isn't done for everyone's safety and protection.
Welcome to the United Stales of Amerika 2012.

Shadrach, your comparisons re Mr Edwards warrant examining a little further.

So your contention is that Edward's was just a love-child problem, infinitely less immoral than torture. But this does not take into account what happens when people run for the office of president, taking many donations (mine included), and then pull a massive wool condom over the public's eyes, that that behavior won't eventually be discovered, only to paralyze the government for a long period of time.

A government torn apart by that kind of thing is even more useless and toxic than it is under normal circumstances. My contention is that when you engage in activity likely to render your government useless for a significant period of time, you are getting fairly close to committing treason.

Now, on to the subject of torturing people who are willing to blow themselves to smithereens to finally have some decent sex with women in the afterlife, (having been deprived of normal intergender contact, and learned to hate and shun women during their lifetimes). It seems to me that doing what it takes to extract information about these prisoners' friends, before relinquishing them to their delusions, is a fairly normal, understandable, and patriotic activity, by comparison to Mr Edward's.

Dissent is the highest form of whatever whatever...

Bill McDonald is right. This is a bi-partisan operation because both parties take orders from the same gang(sters).

The political structure is warping (already warped?) into a Roman type structure.

A vertical structure: Patrician, knight, plebian.

Right and Left in many ways just serve to divide, so those at the top can rule.

But I maintain the American People can take corrective action peacefully through the ballot box.

The Founding Fathers knew the only way to keep the People's liberties safe from oppressive government was for the people to be informed and knowledgable.

And, yes, many Republicans were "stary eyed" at first and slow to realize later on during Bush including myself.

May we all open our eyes to what is befalling America and reach across old divides, acrimonies, and recriminations to stop this slide to tyranny before it is too late and pass America on to the next generation with the same freedoms & liberties we and our fathers have enjoyed.

Dissent from oppressive government is the highest form of patriotism.

Because the Revolution & Constitution were to rid oppressive government and keep American government from being oppressive.

The Constitution's whole framework and specific provisions were designed to keep Americans free of oppressive government -- that was the Founders' biggest concern for them, as well as future generations.

... doing what it takes to extract information about these prisoners' friends, before relinquishing them to their delusions, is a fairly normal, understandable, and patriotic activity ...

Even if one believes there is a moral justification for torture (I don't), the fact remains that it DOESN'T WORK. People threatened with extreme pain will say whatever they believe will best avoid (or stop) it, and if they don't think the truth will satisfy the torturer, or if they truly lack the info the torturer seeks, they will lie. Information gathered under extreme duress simply cannot be depended on (except in the movies and on "24").

Mr McDonald is right, but I will vote again for Obama rather than look a fool to vote for the actual obvious candidate of the rich and powerful whose greed led the country to the edge of Depression. He is also right that if we ever get the Occupy Wall St and Tea Party crowd together, many of the rest of us will come join them and at least some tides will turn.


I think my comparison might have been prompted by all the crazy comments that Obama is some sort of commie. I just don't get it. I see a justice department that is cowardly and a state uncertain of how to use powers it should not have.

I don't disagree that Edwards seemed to have done something bad--I just don't care about his love child. Whatever his abuse was pails in comparison with corrupt shenanigans of our past or the harm naive and simplistic rulings like Citizen's United will unleash. Our campaign system is endemically corrupt, politicians have personal failings but you are correct that two wrongs don't make a right.

Re Torture, you and I do not agree. That's an issue I see black and white on. I can see the shades of grey argument, but certainly not your white is black argument. In fact I find your celebratory stand immoral and grossly ignorant of the facts of torture. It doesn't work. It corrupts us. It is clearly illegal under both US and International Law. It creates true hatred of our country, and makes me utterly ashamed. It is antithetical to humanity. But regardless of those romantic notions, theres the point that it simply doesn't work.

I have no desire to get into a debate on this. Feel free to label me naive for my views, I will do the same to you.


I love being "immoral and grossly ignorant" in the morning. It makes the coffee taste so much better.

All I can say is that torture clearly has a place in the world today. If torturing a hundred people had been necessary to stop what happened on 9/11, I doubt you would find any but a small, lunatic minority that wouldn't sign off on it, hypothetically speaking.

Whether it works or not is a subject that I believe is above everyone's pay grade who does not work deep in the bowels of Quantico. And what the black-and-white view on torture does is much worse than just propose tying up everyone's hands in the quest for information to avert a terror plot. It prevents the discovery and refinement of future methods of information extraction which might be entirely painless. For the sake of argument, let's assume there is a drug that puts people in a frame of mind that yields information, that will let Khalid SM believe he is in the afterlife, and is surrounded by the male virgins he prefers, and they are fanning him and dropping grapes in his mouth, and they ask him, so Khalid, how DID you arrange to safeguard Zawahir's safety in Waziristan? And, chuckling, Khalid reveals all...Yes, yes, I know, hopelessly naive and ignorant. Yeah, well, my deceased father was born in 1907 and he used to tell me when I was little that if anyone had ever said when he was a boy, that we would one day go to the moon, they'd be locked in the looney bin.

I was never of the belief that Obama was a civil libertarian.


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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
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Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
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