newsweek:


When I heard that my 21-year-old son, a student at Harvard, had been stopped by New York City police on more than one occasion during the brief summer he spent as a Wall Street intern, I was angry.
On one occasion, while wearing his best business suit, he was forced to lie face-down on a filthy sidewalk because—well, let’s be honest about it, because of the color of his skin. As an attorney and a college professor who teaches criminal justice classes, I knew that his constitutional rights had been violated.
As a parent, I feared for his safety at the hands of the police—a fear that I feel every single day, whether he is in New York or elsewhere.
Moreover, as the white father of an African-American son, I am keenly aware that I never face the suspicion and indignities that my son continuously confronts. In fact, all of the men among my African-American in-laws—and I literally mean every single one of them—can tell multiple stories of unjustified investigatory police stops of the sort that not a single one of my white male relatives has ever experienced.
What I Learned About Stop-and-Frisk From Watching My Black Son - The Atlantic

newsweek:

When I heard that my 21-year-old son, a student at Harvard, had been stopped by New York City police on more than one occasion during the brief summer he spent as a Wall Street intern, I was angry.

On one occasion, while wearing his best business suit, he was forced to lie face-down on a filthy sidewalk because—well, let’s be honest about it, because of the color of his skin. As an attorney and a college professor who teaches criminal justice classes, I knew that his constitutional rights had been violated.

As a parent, I feared for his safety at the hands of the police—a fear that I feel every single day, whether he is in New York or elsewhere.

Moreover, as the white father of an African-American son, I am keenly aware that I never face the suspicion and indignities that my son continuously confronts. In fact, all of the men among my African-American in-laws—and I literally mean every single one of them—can tell multiple stories of unjustified investigatory police stops of the sort that not a single one of my white male relatives has ever experienced.

What I Learned About Stop-and-Frisk From Watching My Black Son - The Atlantic

(via theatlantic)

"

“Today, TSA’s screening policies are based in theatrics. They are typical, bureaucratic responses to failed security policies meant to assuage the concerns of the traveling public.” Translation? TSA doesn’t know what it’s doing, but is trying to put on a good show to keep the traveling public from catching on. The report, entitled, "A Decade Later: A Call for TSA Reform" sharply criticized the agency, accusing it of incompetent management. Former DHS Inspector General Richard Skinner dropped this bomb, "The ability of TSA screeners to stop prohibited items from being carried through the sterile areas of the airports fared no better than the performance of screeners prior to September 11, 2001."

Frankly, the professional experience I have had with TSA has frightened me. Once, when approaching screening for a flight on official FBI business, I showed my badge as I had done for decades in order to bypass screening. (You can be envious, but remember, I was one less person in line.) I was asked for my form which showed that I was armed. I was unarmed on this flight because my ultimate destination was a foreign country. I was told, “Then you have to be screened.” This logic startled me, so I asked, “If I tell you I have a high-powered weapon, you will let me bypass screening, but if I tell you I’m unarmed, then I have to be screened?” The answer? “Yes. Exactly.” Another time, I was bypassing screening (again on official FBI business) with my .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, and a TSA officer noticed the clip of my pocket knife. “You can’t bring a knife on board,” he said. I looked at him incredulously and asked, “The semi-automatic pistol is okay, but you don’t trust me with a knife?” His response was equal parts predictable and frightening, “But knives are not allowed on the planes.”

The report goes on to state that the virtual strip search screening machines are a failure in that they cannot detect the type of explosives used by the “underwear bomber” or even a pistol used as a TSA’s own real-world test of the machines. Yet TSA has spent approximately $60 billion since 2002 and now has over 65,000 employees, more than the Department of State, more than the Department of Energy, more than the Department of Labor, more than the Department of Education, more than the Department of Housing and Urban Development - combined. TSA has become, according to the report, “an enormous, inflexible and distracted bureaucracy more concerned with……consolidating power.”

"

25-year FBI veteran, pilot, and counter-terrorism & airline security specialist on why the TSA is a complete and utter fail

(Source: gmancasefile.blogspot.com.au)

thenewrepublic:

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the launch of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
It seems like only yesterday that we could wear our shoes on planes and pack a tube of toothpaste without fear of being tackled by a rotund security officer. But is America any safer for it?
In honor of this milestone, read Legal Editor Jeffrey Rosen’s examination of TSA and the right to privacy in “Nude Breach” from the December 13th, 2010 issue (sub. req.).

thenewrepublic:

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the launch of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

It seems like only yesterday that we could wear our shoes on planes and pack a tube of toothpaste without fear of being tackled by a rotund security officer. But is America any safer for it?

In honor of this milestone, read Legal Editor Jeffrey Rosen’s examination of TSA and the right to privacy in “Nude Breach” from the December 13th, 2010 issue (sub. req.).

excellent analysis. I wonder if/when any of the site owners will sue, because the case would be a slam dunk. It would be nice to see DHS (what in the world is homeland security doing enforcing civil copyright claims?!) have their ears pinned back a bit.

so will the feds 1) appeal this to a higher court, or 2) ignore it, knowing that even if TSA’s claims of authority are without legal basis, as long as everyone just accepts it, they can continue to do as they please?

"

Every one of us does things that would be inexplicable to a stranger, hence the saying, ‘It’d be a dull world if we were all the same.’ A mature adult knows that ‘inexplicable’ isn’t the same as ‘wrong’ — you use ketchup, I loathe the stuff but drown everything in Tobasco; you say grace, I’m an avowed atheist; you like puffer-style ski jackets, I like thick denim; you wear a hijab, I wear a flat cap; you have an American flag in your lapel, I have a badge that says ‘KEEP LIBEL LAW OUT OF SCIENCE.’

The TSA’s screening procedure tells them that any time they see something they can’t explain, they should refer that person for a humiliating secondary screening. For people who have something about them that is apt to be outside the direct experience of almost all screeners (people with urine bags, prostheses, disabilities, out-of-the-customary binary gender expression; specialized hobbies or vocations; visible political or religious observances; quirky personal fashion), this is tantamount [to] punishment for not being ‘normal’ — where ‘normal’ is whatever goes on in the narrow experience of J. Random TSO.

‘See something, say something’ and similar programs are the reason that nervous air passengers are allowed to disrupt or even ground flights because they mistake dovening Hassidim for Arab terrorists working themselves up to a suicidal rush or because they mistake a hipster food-photographer’s ‘ATOM BOMB’ tattoo for a sign of suicidal intent.

In other circles, we have a name for the philosophy whose fundamental tenet is, ‘If you don’t do this yourself, it’s probably dangerous’ — we call it bigotry.

"

Cory Doctorow (via dwineman)

(via dwineman)

my irritation with TSA’s ridiculous security theater (a gigantic federal money-wasting boondoggle) and the airlines’ complete contempt for their passengers as anything other than a source of revenue to be exploited (charging for checked bags? charging for carryon bags? charging for pillows? charging for bathroom access?) caused me to swear off flying several years ago. Looks like I was just ahead of the curve is all.