Posts tagged ‘TSA’


Miscellany redux

by wfgodbold

After turning in my paper for my legal writing class this morning, and my civil procedure midterm this afternoon, I’m exhausted. Who knew retraining your brain from a technical/engineering bent to a legal bent was such hard work?

Anyway, Tales of Graces f releases today in the US; my impressions from last January of the Japanese release are just as relevant now as when I wrote them. If you’re on the fence, but you liked Vesperia or Symphonia, give Graces f a chance; the story is a bit cheesy, but it’s worth dealing with because the battle system is so good.

XSEED Games announced the news that they’re bringing Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys Origin to Valve’s Steam PC gaming platform; the former will hit the store next week for $15, and the latter at some future date for some unannounced price. My post the other day about Ys Origin got me more interested in playing that game, and I had considered finding a store online that I could import a copy of the Japanese PC release from. Now I can just wait!

And finally, Joe Huffman found this great infographic detailing all the ways in which the TSA wastes our money, invades our privacy, and does both of those without even stopping terrorists.


You stay creepy, TSA

by wfgodbold

Does their inappropriateness know no bounds at all?


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It’s a good thing I fly very infrequently

by wfgodbold

Because if the TSA tries to go Israeli-style profiling on me while I’m at the airport

Well, let’s just say I’ll probably be insufficiently deferential to their authoritah. Who knows? I might even insult some government employees!

The problem with Israeli profiling is that it doesn’t scale. It works in Israel because it’s a small country and has a limited number of travelers to screen; the US is far larger, and has many times more people to screen.

That, and the Israeli profilers are presumably intelligent, and not recruited via pizza box ads.

Besides, I don’t see the TSA giving up on their current methods to adopt the new ones; instead of profiling in lieu of invasive searches, we’ll get both.


Give up your privacy! Do it! FOR THE CHILDREN!

by wfgodbold

They even put it in the name of the damn bill this time. House Resolution 1981 (more like 1984, amirite?), the “Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011” has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee.

Like Sebastian, I saw this on Boing Boing yesterday, and I couldn’t believe it. Actually, I could believe it; I just didn’t want to.

Sebastian points out:

I should note that Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Rep. Chaffetz (R-UT), and Rep. Issa (R-CA), all voted against this stupid, stupid bill. The rest of the GOP fell in line. The GOP is still for big government, they are just for different big government than the Democrats.

He’s right.

Michael Patrick Leahy touched on this earlier this week, when he pointed out that historically, the GOP has been just as big a fan of government intervention in stuff it has no business intervening in as the Democratic party has, just that its focus was different. It was only with Goldwater, and later Reagan, that liberty was emphasized; even now, there are those in the GOP that are in favor of all-powerful government.

Both parties are perfectly willing to pass whatever nonsense bills they can come up with if they think it will get them votes, regardless of whether those bills are constitutional or not. I don’t see how tracking every person’s total internet activity would be any more legit than tracking their every move and recording every damn conversation they have.

But if it’s for the children, then, well, civil rights be damned!

Child pornography is vile. Child pornographers are vile people. It’s morally wrong, it’s against the law, it’s an egregious violation of children’s civil rights, and the government is right to try to apprehend child pornographers.

But you don’t find them by searching every single person every time they do anything on the internet. It’s child pornography theater.

On the other hand, the government seems to think that works with terrorism and the TSA, so I guess I’m more surprised that it took this long. Maybe this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back; I’m not holding my breath, though.

Any opposition to this awful, awful bill will result in those opposing it being tarred as being in favor of child pornography and hating the children. Just like those against security theater are tarred as wanting the terrorists to win.


You know, I used to like black humor

by wfgodbold

But this just isn’t funny any more.

I suppose we have to laugh to stave off the anger, but I’m not laughing.

Read it all and ask yourself how we can roll the long arm of the state back.


Negative, I am a meat popsicle.

by wfgodbold

From this description, it’s only a matter of time until the TSA goes all Fifth Element on us and demands to know if we’re classified as human.

If I wore t-shirts, I’d have to get one of these for my next trip through the gauntlet.

I don’t think they’d get it, though.


More TSA incompetence in action

by wfgodbold

Though they don’t get all the blame; if you manage to fly from New York to Los Angeles without a valid boarding pass, it takes incompetence at far more than just one level.

Not only did the man in question (a Nigerian) not have a valid passport, but he was using someone else’s EXPIRED boarding pass.

Not to worry, though. This just proves that the system works.

I’m sure the TSA will assure us that all proper procedures were followed.



Just when you thought the TSA couldn’t get any more despicable…

by wfgodbold

It turns out that the backscatter scanning machines have been linked to cancer clusters in TSA workers (H/T Sebastian).

Looks like opting out of the scanning is safer for everyone!

I do find it hard to muster much sympathy for the TSA goons, though; you claim that making a 95 year-old woman remove her adult diaper is “following procedure” and you deserve what you get.

The TSA has never stopped an attack.

It has only reacted, tightening “security” in the hopes of looking like they’re doing something. After all, if people realized that the TSA doesn’t actually do anything useful, the agents would lose their cushy government jobs.


We don’t have a justice system

by wfgodbold

We have a legal system.

Trite, but accurate; any system that could result in decisions like this can hardly be called just.

Just because the Supreme Court has handed down a decision doesn’t mean that it’s right.

In all, more than 60,000 people—including 7,600 in North Carolina—were forcibly sterilized in the United States in the name of “progress.” Progressives of the time lauded the decision in Buck. Individual rights, they firmly believed, should not be allowed to stand in the way of collective progress. Justice Brandeis called Buck an example of properly allowing states the freedom to “meet modern conditions by regulations which a century ago, or even half a century ago, probably would have been rejected as arbitrary and oppressive.” [emphasis added]

Of course, once some individual rights have been sacrificed on the altar of “collective progress,” it becomes easier to do away with others; look at how effective the TSA is at negating the fourth amendment in the name of collective security, or how individuals’ right to choose how to provide for their own health care is being overruled by the federal decree that all must purchase qualifying insurance or be punished.

It’s a slippery slope, but that makes it no less true; whenever the state becomes more powerful, it does so at the individual’s expense.

And the individual can rarely reclaim what the state has appropriated.


What better way to normalize the dissolution of the fourth amendment

by wfgodbold

Than to make a toy TSA screening wand (H/T Radley Balko)?

I wonder if it comes with instructions on how to conduct enhanced screenings for people who opt out…

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