TSA News: One-year anniversary

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by TSA News Blog, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. TSA News Blog

    TSA News Blog News Feed

    Catching_Light1.jpg
    Exactly one year ago, on November 15, 2011, TSA News launched. The first post was by journalist and longtime consumer advocate Christopher Elliott.​
    Since then, we’ve assembled a stable of writers from all over the country. We come from diverse personal, professional, and political backgrounds. We’re especially all over the place politically. But one thing we all share is respect for civil liberties. And we’re not about to sit around dumbly and watch as those civil liberties are ripped out from under us.​
    Since 9/11, this country has lost its collective mind. And the denial about that fact is profound. When 1/3 of Americans say they’d be willing to undergo a body cavity search to get on a plane, you know they’ve lost their minds. The overreaction to 9/11 has been brutal and unrelenting. Most of us, in fact, have no idea just how brutal and unrelenting it is. But people like Saadiq Long and Shoshana Hebshi do.
    An American citizen who grew up in Oklahoma and a U.S. Air Force veteran, Saadiq Long has been placed on the no-fly list. He doesn’t know why; he doesn’t know how, when, or if he can get off; his years in the Air Force mean nothing; he can’t fly home. Why? We don’t know. We’re not allowed to know. And he’s hardly the only one.
    Another American citizen from the heartland of the country, Shoshana Hebshi, was taken off an airplane in handcuffs, and strip-searched in a prison. Why? Because she “looked” a certain way. She “looked” “Arab” or “Muslim” or take your pick of whatever bogeyman you choose. In other words, she has dark curly hair — like me, as it happens. Two other passengers on that plane, whose names we don’t know, were similarly abused that day.
    The Bill of Rights doesn’t exist for Saadiq Long or Shoshana Hebshi or those other passengers anymore.
    It doesn’t exist for any of us. You might object, and claim that the fact that I’m writing these words without being hauled off to jail means that it does exist. But that’s a very narrow, and narrow-minded, qualification.
    The NDAA exists, the Patriot Act exists, the Espionage Act exists. We’re all subject to warrantless wiretapping and snooping in our email and electronic files. These are facts. No amount of denial changes those facts.
    As important as I think the work of this blog is, as important as I think our fight against TSA abuse is, I have no illusions about why we’re allowed to engage in this activism: it’s because we don’t pose a threat to the status quo. If we did, you can bet our overlords would find a way to shut us down. We in this country have free speech only insofar as we don’t threaten the powers that be.
    We obviously don’t have freedom of movement anymore. And we don’t have the 4th Amendment. That’s what this entire blog is about. As Nuremberg prosecutor Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote in 1949:
    “Uncontrolled search and seizure is one of the first and most effective weapons in the arsenal of every arbitrary government. Among deprivations of rights, none is so effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart.”
    The TSA is but one symptom of a sick, festering National Security State. And whether you fly or not, whether you’re a dissident or not, whether you care about civil liberties or not, the fact remains that when the rights of one person are trampled, the rights of all people are trampled. And when that trampling isn’t even acknowledged, isn’t even recognized for what it is, then we are on a very dark path.
    I wish I could say TSA News wouldn’t be here a year from now. But I know I can’t. We’ll be fighting this battle for a long time. For years.
    The inconvenience I incur as a result of refusing to fly anymore is nothing compared to the abuse that Saddiq Long and people like him are enduring. And they are enduring it because of the insane overreaction of this country to 9/11.
    When, people, when are we going to stop?
    (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Catching Light)
     
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    It [Bill of Rights] doesn’t exist for any of us. You might object, and claim that the fact that I’m writing these words without being hauled off to jail means that it does exist. But that’s a very narrow, and narrow-minded, qualification.

    The NDAA exists, the Patriot Act exists, the Espionage Act exists. We’re all subject to warrantless wiretapping and snooping in our email and electronic files. These are facts. No amount of denial changes those facts.

    As important as I think the work of this blog is, as important as I think our fight against TSA abuse is, I have no illusions about why we’re allowed to engage in this activism: it’s because we don’t pose a threat to the status quo. If we did, you can bet our overlords would find a way to shut us down. We in this country have free speech only insofar as we don’t threaten the powers that be.

    We obviously don’t have freedom of movement anymore. And we don’t have the 4th Amendment.


    *yawn*

    If you think it's that bad, just kill yourself.

    The editorial guidance at TSA News is going south the same way her posts were going south when she was posting here. I just want to gag when I read crap like this.

    [​IMG]

    TSA News started out as a fairly objective, level-headed presentation of the indignities of dealing with TSA. These polemics don't help one bit. The average American's eyes will roll if he/she reads a diatribe about their alleged "overlords". If the Bill of Rights is truly dead, it's time to pack it up & leave.
     
  3. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    While I have the utmost respect for Lisa, as I do for anyone who stands on the side of right as we do here at TUG, and while I withhold judgment regarding questions of posting quality here on our forum, I do have to agree that the word "overlord," at least, is best left unused. It's one thing to use it when speaking to like-minded individuals as a sort of cynical shorthand to describe what we all understand to exist in some capacity or another, but it is a loaded word and has real potential to turn away those not already sympathetic to the Travel Freedom cause.

    Warrantless wiretapping is a real problem. Violations of the Bill of Rights are a real problem. A deeply-entrenched power structure that acts against the best interests of the people is a real problem. These things are all true, but how to explain them?

    I've courted hyperbole myself, many times in the past, and I believe it stems from an earnest desire to express the gravity of a problem. The thing is, people don't generally go from zero to "OMFGWTF" in 2 seconds flat, and that's what this kind of hyperbole seeks to do - take the slow-dawning realization that things are very wrong, which comes gradually over the course of reading detailed exposition, and pack it into as few words as possible to accommodate listeners who hate paying attention for more than 15 seconds and love interrupting without hearing all that the speaker has to say. The problem is that doesn't work - that realization is the product of cognitive processing and the brain, marvelous organic computer though it is, still needs time to make the connections and consider the concepts that lead it to say "Holy crap, they're right, I should be taking heed of this!" Of course, nowadays, nobody like settling down for a leisurely, thought-provoking article. Better to read a 3-sentence summary of the latest in the Petraeus sex scandal so you can pretend like you know all there is to know about it and sound smart when you discuss it by the office water cooler. Take your time and spell everything out, and the too-short average attention span of modern-day Americans screws you over as people blurt "tl;dr" and go do something more immediately entertaining. Try to compress your message too much whilst maintaining the level of impact that sufficient exposition would give and people brand you Chicken Little and...go do something more immediately entertaining.

    I learned it myself when trying to reason with a certain relative who's an unthinking party-line Republican. Not a Ron Paul or a Gary Johnson or a David Simpson, who want small government for freedom and flexibility, but a George W. Bush-idolizing, Bill O'Reilly-watching, all-in authoritarian neocon. He takes after O'Reilly in his love for getting the last say, distracting with minutiae, and interrupting CONSTANTLY. Out of necessity, I had to learn to compress my points into sound-bites that I could sling at him and finish before he had a chance to interrupt. Funny thing happened, though - almost immediately, I crossed a threshold at which he started writing me off as alarmist. Well no (expletive deleted), you moron - I convey my message best when I take the time to explain my perspective, but your rude, discourteous, interrupting (expletive deleted), your utter disregard for the rules of polite discourse, isn't terribly permissive of that. So either I'm a boring dweeb or a panicky lunatic. Gee, what's behind door #3?

    Introducing others to a cause, and convincing them that we have a serious problem, is a balancing act of urgency versus credibility. Like me, Lisa erred too far on the side of urgency. She's not wrong at the core of her message, but the delivery missed its mark. I think that, if she eschews some of the conspiracy-themed vernacular (even though it may seem perfectly apropos), and narrows the focus of her articles to topics more directly related to travel (even though there are salient points to be made on the more tangential ones), future articles will be a bit easier to follow and swallow.
     
    Doober likes this.
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Violations of the Bill of Rights are not the same as the Bill of Rights being dead. Of course there are violations. That's why we have courts, lawsuits, ACLU, etc. We have ample ways to fight the fight.

    I've allowed TUG to be used as a platform to promote TSA News because for most of its existence it was a reasonable and very level-headed presentation of the same problem most of us were concerned with. I've been picky about who we support and link to, e.g. Wendy & Freedom to Travel, si, Kate Hanni, no. The Natural News guy got the boot when he showed up & started spamming his site.

    If this "anniversary post" is a trend, there's going to be some reconsideration.
     

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