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November 30, 2010 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Is anti-TSA outrage right wing "catnip"? The Nation called the activism Koch-funded astroturfing, than apologized. Radley Balko finds the magazine hypocritical. At least one politician has gone catnip crazy: Eugene Delgaudio, who claims in an email sent by the activist that patdowns are part of a "homosexual agenda" to get "pleasure from your submission."
posted by l33tpolicywonk (108 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's funny. The TSA has the potential to be a common rallying point for liberals and conservatives.... yet when people open their mouth and says shit like it's part of the "homosexual agenda" I realize just what a wide gulf there is even on common concerns.
posted by edgeways at 10:59 AM on November 30, 2010 [19 favorites]


I think it's possible that many people, be they democrat, republican, independent, or what have you, really honestly dislike these intrusive security procedures. That some people will try to use the new screening procedures to score political points is inevitable; but let's not let that distract us from the basic fact that these procedures really, really suck.
posted by Mister_A at 10:59 AM on November 30, 2010 [22 favorites]


Holy shit, the crazy is at 11. I'd better go try to find a job at the TSA so I can finish completing my homosexual pat-down agenda by pissing off angry businessmen and touching their junk!

On another note, there's always the dependable Krauthammer.
posted by blucevalo at 11:00 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


And the fact that some nobody from nowhere who holds a minor elected post has gone even further out on his crazy limb than usual is not really news-worthy, except in Loudon Co, VA.
posted by Mister_A at 11:01 AM on November 30, 2010


As Mr. Limbaugh put it: "Keep your hands off my Teabag, Mr. President!!"
posted by washburn at 11:03 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Glenn Greenwald also found a lot of fault with the Nation's profile.

There is a surprising and disappointing number of people on the left who are inclined to give the TSA a pass, or distance themselves from criticism of its new policies, simply because a bunch of wingnuts are also upset about them.
posted by kenko at 11:04 AM on November 30, 2010 [13 favorites]


Interesting post. This entire time I've been following the TSA controversy from left-wing sites like Shakesville. Until the past few days (particularly reading about The Nation controversy) I had NO IDEA that this is supposedly right-wing astroturfing. It seems to me that both left and right have legitimate reasons to be against what the TSA is doing, because what the TSA is doing is just wrong on so many levels.
posted by Danila at 11:05 AM on November 30, 2010 [8 favorites]


I hope the fact that the TSA issue has been embraced by right-wing crazies does not mean that liberals are scared away from addressing it.
posted by desjardins at 11:05 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Divide and conquer, folks. Divide and conquer.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:08 AM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


When the TSA starts demanding that I pat them down too then the homosexual agenda has gone too far. Until then I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.
posted by three blind mice at 11:10 AM on November 30, 2010 [12 favorites]


As much as it pains me to quote Ross Douhat...

Imagine, for a moment, that George W. Bush had been president when the Transportation Security Administration decided to let Thanksgiving travelers choose between exposing their nether regions to a body scanner or enduring a private security massage. ... Republicans would have leaped to the Bush administration’s defense, while accusing liberals of going soft on terrorism.

... mostly, the Bush-era script was read in reverse. It was the populist right that raged against body scans, and the Republican Party that moved briskly to exploit the furor. It was a Democratic administration that labored to justify the intrusive procedures...

posted by Joe Beese at 11:10 AM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ah, see Nation, that's part of Koch's masterful plan! If they make it look like they oppose it, then most assuredly YOU can't, and therefore they silence you without even having to tell you to, in Bill O'Reilly's words "Shut Up!" Because you think you can't have anything in common and rally against a common enemy in one small instance (and I, personally, dislike the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" logic, but at times it makes good strategic sense to unite against tyrannies)...
posted by symbioid at 11:11 AM on November 30, 2010


Oh, it would be wonderful to believe that people were honestly outraged at having their naked bodies gawked at and felt up, much like were going to prison, just for the simple act of getting on an airplane, instead of all this just making the news because some right-wing puppetmaster was meme-pushing. So great would it be to think something like this, the honest horror of people being sexually assaulted for the act of getting on a plane, could be what causes this to make cable news, and now some Republican moneyman pulling strings.

So wonderful, in fact, that I am actually going to believe it.
posted by JHarris at 11:12 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Quit stealing my catnip.
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:12 AM on November 30, 2010


The Nation apologized for lumping poster-boy John Tyner in with its accusations of astroturfing. It has not to my knowledge apologized for the astroturfing accusations themselves, which are troubling and deserve further investigation:
One person who seems to have the answer is Rep. John Mica, the Florida Republican who is set to chair the Transportation Committee. Mica co-wrote the bill establishing the TSA in 2001, just over a month after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC. A little-known provision in that bill allowed airports to "opt out" from the federal agency's security umbrella and to instead hire private contractors. As Media Matters pointed out recently, the whole reason why the TSA was formed was because private contractors paying airport security minimum wages were considered a big part of the reason why the 9/11 terror attacks were allowed to happen. Since the formation of the TSA, not a single terror attack originating from an American airport has taken place. But apparently that's not nearly as relevant as the complaints of a few libertarians.

The links between Mica, the libertarians, the Kochs, and the TSA scandal are only now emerging, and we hope more journalists will dig deeper. So far, we have learned:While so far there is no "smoking gun" linking Rep. Mica to the anti-TSA campaign, there is clearly enough evidence to call into question the official version of events as a "spontaneous" outbreak of anti-TSA hysteria carried out by "ordinary guys" that it claims to be. Instead, there is plenty of evidence of a coordinated campaign for purposes that are only just beginning to emerge—a campaign with a profit motive and a political objective.
The fact-free insinuation that Tyner was somehow connected was a stupid sensationalist move, an own-goal that's distracting from further digging into the above.

It's more than possible for astroturfing to piggy-back on legitimate grievances with the goal of steering potential solutions into ditches none of the legitimate actors ever contemplated: in this case, not abolishing the TSA, but privatizing it.
posted by kipmanley at 11:12 AM on November 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


Until the past few days (particularly reading about The Nation controversy) I had NO IDEA that this is supposedly right-wing astroturfing.

It's because no one invented that silly idea until a few days ago. People are genuinely annoyed at the TSA's onerous, silly procedures, and gags about the stupidity of air security are at least as old as George Carlin's famous bit about security theater. Just because many of those annoyed at the TSA include white, male right-wingers does not make their concerns wrong.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:12 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think there's a difference between "giving the TSA a pass" and realizing that part of this controversy has been hijacked for more teabag outrage.

Just because Mr. Delgaudio is a "nobody" from Loudoun County doesn't mean that there aren't more people who aren't "nobodies" who agree with him. And saying he's a nobody implies that he does no harm, when in fact as a member of the Board of Supervisors, he frequently brings up anti-gay red herrings and advocates on behalf of acting legislatively against gay people who live and/or work in Loudoun County. And Loudoun County isn't "nowhere" -- it's part of the DC/Virginia suburbs.
posted by blucevalo at 11:13 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Loudon isn't exactly "nowhere." It's a DC suburb, and the wealthiest county in the country.

Something like 90% of Virginia's population is concentrated in about half a dozen counties. The elected officials there hold a fairly significant amount of power (although the nuances of the separation of powers between town/county/state government in VA can be a bit weird).

Although Virginia is always a sea of red on those election maps, they've elected quite a few democrats over the past few years. The vast majority of the people in the state are crammed into a few rather small areas (NoVA, Richmond, and Hampton Roads).

Although I'd have written off the opinions of any of my county officials in NJ, and couldn't have given a damn about who was elected to them, I was acutely aware of the politics of my county/local officials when I lived in VA, as they had a much larger hand in my everyday life.
posted by schmod at 11:13 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think the TSA outrage is an accidental/windfall distraction issue: unplanned, but convenient for throwing people who are too smart to fall for Teh Gay Agenda!!1!1! off the scent of actual, significant corruption. The way I see it, the abortion drum is getting worn out, so gay marriage was selected to take over. But none of the three really matter, except as grar-inducing topics that are comfortably distant from the big money changing hands.
posted by spacewrench at 11:14 AM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


There's definably something odd about thne way everybody has decided that now is the time to collectively freak out... I'd put it down to being more of a tipping point, where years of uselessness and bullshit petty rules by the TSA suddenly outweigh any perceived benefit and they are now everybodies target.
posted by Artw at 11:14 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


TSA = right wing catnip du jour. it will be something else tomorrow.
posted by msconduct at 11:14 AM on November 30, 2010


It's apparently all about white rage.
posted by crunchland at 11:15 AM on November 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


part of a "homosexual agenda" to get "pleasure from your submission."

Dumbass. Everyone knows the homosexual agenda and the BDSM agenda are kept in separate file folders.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 11:15 AM on November 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


The most disappointing thing I've seen from the left in years has been its attempt to cast this as some kind of partisan issue and pooh-pooh those on the left who are upset about this whole thing. The thinking seems to have been along the lines of: anger at the government reminds us of the Tea Party, and therefore it is a knee-jerk anti-Obama phenomenon of the right, and therefore we must oppose it, and therefore having some uniformed goon's hand down your pants at the airport must be a good thing.

It seems obvious to me that we're talking about an assault on basic human dignity and it's about as partisan as breathing.

(ergo, I am pleased by your submission)
posted by Naberius at 11:16 AM on November 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


I think that progressive organizations that have been trying to publicise well-known and continuing issues with the TSA have the right to point out that it's hypocritical to start being against stringent security measures when (a) it happens on a Democrat's watch and (b) it starts affecting white guys. That doesn't mean that such organizations want your junk to be fondled.
posted by muddgirl at 11:19 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


The way I see it, the abortion drum is getting worn out, so gay marriage was selected to take over. But none of the three really matter, except as grar-inducing topics that are comfortably distant from the big money changing hands.

Eh, the TSA stuff actually matters, of the three, because it wastes so much money, it doesn't work, and there's almost universal opposition to a large swath of what it does. If the two parties united to pare it back, then that would be a positive development.

OTOH, privatizing the TSA would be a terrible idea, so that's an idea worth fighting against. All the more reason why the left dropping the TSA topic would be to MAKE the TSA topic a right wing issue.

Are there bigger fish to fry? Yes, very much so, but that still doesn't make the mass TSA annoyance unreasonable or wrong.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:20 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Everyone knows the homosexual agenda and the BDSM agenda are kept in separate file folders.

Nope. They are in the same folder with the agenda of the Satan-worshiping Atheists.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:22 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ugh, that Mother Jones article. I am fairly certain there is no confusion over why the we have to go through scanners and remove our shoes. People are simply objecting to them because they're invasive and annoying. People call it "theatre" because these have all been reactive steps and there's always going to be some scheme someone comes up with to stay ahead of the security measures. I think the point is that people realize it's quite rare at the best of times for someone to try a stunt like the underwear bomber (who boarded the plane in Amsterdam), the liquid explosive plot (who were to board the planes in the UK) or the shoe bomber (who boarded the plane in Paris), and beyond the fact that American airport security measures would have done nothing to stop them, the risks just aren't that great. You could write a similar article explaining why it makes sense that people bought duct tape and plastic sheeting to protect against biological weapon attacks.

Also, anyone know why bomb sniffing dogs aren't used more at security? Are they not effective?
posted by Hoopo at 11:24 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Weird. Most of the homosexuals I know use iCal or Google Calendar.
posted by ob at 11:24 AM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


I BUY ALL MY SUITS OFF THE RACK NO MORE HOMOSEXUAL TAILORS FEELING MY PACKAGE FOR THEIR OWN SICK PLEASURE. ALSO I PERFORM ALL MY OWN PROSTATE EXAMS.
posted by saladin at 11:25 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's definably something odd about thne way everybody has decided that now is the time to collectively freak out...

I've heard it suggested it is now an issue because it is no longer just women who get their privacy invaded, with boob searches. I can't speak for the veracity of this, but it does have a certain ring to it.
posted by edgeways at 11:25 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


NY Times Analysis of how the whole TSA story evolved, got overexposed, and then amounted to nothing. Apparently, Matt Drudge lit the match.
posted by crunchland at 11:27 AM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


I've heard it suggested it is now an issue because it is no longer just women who get their privacy invaded, with boob searches. I can't speak for the veracity of this, but it does have a certain ring to it.

White men (and everyone else) being searched without probable cause. Pornoscanners that save images. Michael Chertoff making a dime off of the pornoscanner salers. Procedures in general have been accumulating. Also, people travel more around Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it becomes more of an issue in the last quarter of the year.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:28 AM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


If the new pat-downs and pornoscans had been put in under Bush, the right would be calling anybody who complained about them a traitor the way they did about torture, warrantless wiretapping, and the USA PATRIOT Act. (Although, to be fair, those were abuses that mostly happen to THOSE people, while everybody gets pornoscanned/fondled.)

This is not a right-wing issue. It's an issue for anybody who cares about being fondled or looked at naked so that various government employees can cover their asses and pretend to be doing something useful.
posted by callmejay at 11:28 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


we're talking about an assault on basic [non-Muslim] human dignity

FTFY

The left was, though not necessarily pleased, at least undisturbed in any serious way by far greater "invasive procedures" being applied to our Muslim guests.

It wasn't until the white folks' personal space starting getting violated that we started hearing talk about "human dignity".
posted by Joe Beese at 11:29 AM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh, hell. Our agenda was pat-downs? I was still on Prop 8 and Marriage Rights. No one tells me anything.

Can I further our agenda? It's not really gay related, am I allowed to think about other things, or is every proposal tinged with my queer desires? I need a teabagger to explain this to me. Anyway. I'd like to address the fact that other modes of transportation, such as subways, buses, & trains are also vulnerable to terrorist attacks. So are malls, museums, houses of worship...anywhere people congregate.

Now, I'm not suggesting security measures like the TSA. Let's face it, our country is flat broke. As patriotic citizens we should simply go everywhere naked. That way we can visibly assess each other for explosives or other weapons. Yes, there may be occasional cavity searches. But it's a small price to pay for safety.

If you've got nothing to hide, then why are you even wearing clothes to begin with? Think of the children.
posted by jnaps at 11:30 AM on November 30, 2010 [8 favorites]


The problem with asking airports to opt out of the TSA is that the law doesn't allow them to opt out of TSA procedures, only TSA personnel. So opting out just means that private contractors rather than federal employees will be touching your junk.
posted by fogovonslack at 11:31 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


The problem with asking airports to opt out of the TSA is that the law doesn't allow them to opt out of TSA procedures, only TSA personnel. So opting out just means that private contractors rather than federal employees will be touching your junk.

All the more reason for the left to run with the TSA issue and to pitch the alternative tack of how these procedures do not appreciably increase safety. Debunk the idea of essentially contracting out the TSA, while keeping those Federal mandates in place. Instead, completely dismantle or completely reform the TSA.

Dismantling it would actually be nice - we don't need the TSA, and it would paint the Tea Party types into a corner by saying, "you know what, sometimes you're right. Let's eliminate this little corner of this Federal government." It would be laughably hypocritical for the Tea Party to maintain those Federal mandates (not that the Tea Party isn't often already laughably hypocritical).
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:36 AM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: Pleasure from your submission.

I promise that's my last one...
posted by rouftop at 11:36 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Then people can hate them like regular rentacops!
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on November 30, 2010


Mark Ames is a talentless hack with a proclivity for desperately smearing anything that sounds like a libertarian said it and no sense of shame, proportion, or decency.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 11:38 AM on November 30, 2010


There's definably something odd about the way everybody has decided that now is the time to collectively freak out...

I think, honestly, it's just because the cable news networks, all of them, seem upset about it. In this country it's as if an issue doesn't exist of cable news doesn't care about it. "Who reads newspapers anymore? The internet? That's a bunch of people looking up porn!"

It's incredibly stupid and it'd be great to see the news networks just die now. Fox News is just the most obvious case. CNN is loathsomely idiotic these days, and MSNBC seems to be applying for opposite number status.

Individual people get angry all the time. Sometimes lots of people get angry over one thing, but don't realize that other people are mad about it too. Cable news could help build consensus on these issues, show that all these individuals are not alone, but too often just chases shiny objects. The only one that actually tries to build movements used it to build the most loathsome popular political movement to come around in some time, but that's not to say that something more thoughtful couldn't be sparked with similar resources.
posted by JHarris at 11:38 AM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


My personal political views could be charitably described as far, far left. I make Michael Moore look like Dick Cheney. Tax the rich and give the money to gay atheist drug addicts, etc. etc. etc.

And even I don't want to see the groundswell of anti-TSA outrage derailed by partisan bickering. Let me be clear: I fucking love partisan bickering. But for once this might actually be an issue that we sensible people and those fascist pig-dogs can usefully unite against, and wouldn't that be a beautiful thing?
posted by Zozo at 11:40 AM on November 30, 2010 [10 favorites]


It's the federal employee's version of the Gay Bill of Special Rights...

Wait, if this is the federal employee's version ... does this means there's a Gay Bill of Special Rights for the rest of us?

And what's in the Gay Bill of Special Rights? The right to wear white shoes after Labor Day? The right to use "super" as an adjective? Twenty percent off admission to the Liberace museum?

The right to get summarily bounced out of your military career? The right to be treated like a second-class citizen?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:44 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Debout, le damne de la terre
Debout le forcats de la faim
...

The first two lines of the Internationale, in French, from memory. Probably wrong, and certainly lacking accents, but still this must mark me as some sort of pinko right?

Fuck the TSA.
posted by bonecrusher at 11:46 AM on November 30, 2010


NY Times Analysis of how the whole TSA story evolved, got overexposed, and then amounted to nothing. Apparently, Matt Drudge lit the match.

According to that article:

It began with a Drudge Report link to a video on Nov. 13 of an intrusive pat-down, and then leapt to social media and the rest of the Web ...

Soon enough, an online protest calling for a National Opt-Out Day popped up


But, the Michael Roberts story (MeFi post from 10/20) broke on October 19.

The Jeffrey Goldberg column in The Atlantic, "For the First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance," was written on October 29 (and posted to MeFi on 10/29 as well).

Heck, the National Opt-Out Day site was posted to MeFi on November 10.

So how did Matt Drudge kick this story off on November 13?

The New York Times: Consistently Inaccurate for a Long Time Now
posted by mrgrimm at 11:48 AM on November 30, 2010 [18 favorites]


it's hypocritical to start being against stringent security measures when (a) it happens on a Democrat's watch and (b) it starts affecting white guys. That doesn't mean that such organizations want your junk to be fondled.

This x1000. You have to wonder where all these people were to have outrage about stuff like this, including "patdowns" before 9/11 even kicked off.

It's like YES, let's not have a police state, let's not have a system unchecked, let's protect people's rights - but in order to do that, we have to call it out not JUST when it starts happening to us.
posted by yeloson at 11:51 AM on November 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


The Jeffrey Goldberg column in The Atlantic, "For the First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance," was written on October 29 (and posted to MeFi on 10/29 as well).

Ah yes. The testicles nicknamed "The Resistance." Who could forget that?
posted by blucevalo at 11:53 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, anyone know why bomb sniffing dogs aren't used more at security? Are they not effective?

Evidently people would prefer to have their crotches sniffed by TSA agents.
posted by The Bellman at 11:53 AM on November 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


There's definably something odd about thne way everybody has decided that now is the time to collectively freak out...

Doens't seem odd to me. Until a few weeks ago, airport security under the TSA was a slow-boiling-frog - every few months, something minor would get added to the list (shoes), give it a few months, people would get used to it, then add something more to the list (liquids). Then, there was a double whammy of porn-scanners that we had been promised we could opt out of, and new groping searches that were designed to ensure people would not opt out of the scanner.

There is a HUGE difference in American attitudes towards their travel possessions vs their naked bodies available to strangers.

If the TSA had introduced the scanners slowly, with no expectation that people would use them and no penalties for opting out, then slowly introduced the groping a year later, I think they could have keep the slow-boil going longer.

But suddenly cranking things up all at once has spooked the boiling frog.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:55 AM on November 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


I've got absolutely nothing to hide or of any interest, but I don't want my government recording my phone, copying my email, or videotaping my apartment. I also don't want them taking my fingerprints, inspecting my computer, or photographing my genitals as a prerequisite for air travel. I say that not as a libertarian but as a plain-jane liberal -- a liberal who has no problem with a big government that taxes the rich to provide services for the poor, but who does have a problem with the growing police, military, and surveillance powers of that same government. The TSA policy has been getting increasingly insane, and though I have absolutely no problem with almost anyone seeing my genitals who might want (god help them), it's a totally different story when it's forced upon everyone who wants to see their grandparents or grandchildren, especially to so little effect. Yes, the right wing is itself insane, and will express their insanitized version of even the most reasonably complaint-worthy issue; but even if their complaints are infused with their homophobic, racist anti-Obama, military-hypocrisy lunacy, I think they sometimes derive from the same source as mine -- a sense that there's something wrong with routine strip-searches as a prerequisite for flying. And even if they share no reason or psychology in common with me, I wouldn't want to give up my own position just because others might think that I share the homophobic motivations of the right. It's too bad the the only left-right coalition against the technocratic (bank bailout) and police-state (TSA, etc) juggernaut puts me in bed with bigots (and them in bed with hippies), but as long as it's still just a matter of shooting down bills and policies -- and not, god forbid, trying to pick a candidate -- I'm willing to lie down with the dogs. Occasionally. Once or twice, anyway.
posted by chortly at 11:56 AM on November 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think the Mother Jones article more-or-less captures my feelings on the issue. I would add that a lot of the TSA is doing arose from the fear and the hysteria of the same American public who demanded safety.

And here's as good a place as any to give kudos to the TSA employees my family and I encountered on our Thanksgiving travels (especially at Newport News Airport) who were polite, charming and professional. I always feel for front line workers who get a lot of undeserved shit from people.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 11:57 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you don't like the patdowns or the pornoscanners, you have the option not to fly. If enough people opted out of using airports to cause a financial impact, you can bet your 3oz toiletries and removed shoes that the TSA would come up with more agreeable ways to fondle you.
posted by crunchland at 12:02 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Mother Jones article has at least one argument that is flat-out insane:

But what about our civil liberties? Maybe you think that even if TSA's procedures are slightly useful, they aren't useful enough to justify all the intrusion. . . .Think again: if a plane comes down, you can just kiss your civil liberties goodbye. Today's TSA procedures will seem positively genial compared to what takes their place with the full and eager support of the American public. Given that reality, if you're really worried about civil liberties you should welcome nearly anything legal that protects air travel from explosives, even the things that are really annoying and only modestly useful.

If you're really worried about civil liberties, start giving them up now. Seriously. It actually says that. In those words. Also, we had to destroy the village to save it. You can't make this shit up.
posted by The Bellman at 12:09 PM on November 30, 2010 [13 favorites]


Joe Beese: "we're talking about an assault on basic [non-Muslim] human dignity

FTFY

The left was, though not necessarily pleased, at least undisturbed in any serious way by far greater "invasive procedures" being applied to our Muslim guests.

It wasn't until the white folks' personal space starting getting violated that we started hearing talk about "human dignity".
"

"Undisturbed?" WTF? Various people and organizations have been attacking human rights violations of prisoners at Guantanamo for years.

There are differences between what was done to prisoners at Guantanamo and what the TSA does to airline passengers. There is a difference in public perception, as well.

1) More people give a damn about invasive procedures by the TSA because they're directly affected by 'em.

2) Why were prisoners housed in Guantanamo in the first place? They were classified as enemy, armed combatants by the US military. Whether you agree with that or not it's pretty damned disingenuous to make comparisons comparing the way your average airline passenger to a Taliban fighter held in Guantanamo. (Yes, I know that all the prisoners weren't Taliban.) The fighters are thought of as dangerous by the American public.

So is it any wonder that....

3) Americans are now more in favor of closing Guantanamo, than they were five years ago. But....

4) Americans also do not want Guantanamo prisoners moved to the US, either

Many people spoke out against the conditions prisoners at Guantanamo have been subjected to from Day 1. They were just as outraged about our country ignoring the Geneva Conventions.

You're oversimplifying. I'm as against the concentration camp the US has been running in Guantanamo as anyone else, but I think you're making a glib, inaccurate analogy.
posted by zarq at 12:12 PM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


I am certain that once every regular person -- left and right -- expresses outrage over the TSA, the politicians who are (a) well-lubricated with backscatter lobbyist money and (b) well aware that any security failure that happens, no matter if it would have been prevented or not, will be pinned on their heads, will move quickly to abolish this thing which, despite being in the interest of the corporate anti-terrorism industry, is upsetting their constituents, whom they feel responsible to above all else.
posted by Legomancer at 12:12 PM on November 30, 2010


blucevalo: "The testicles nicknamed "The Resistance.""

Isn't that the guy on Jersey Shore?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 12:16 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah yes. The testicles nicknamed "The Resistance." Who could forget that?

I know what you're asking yourself and the answer is yes. I have a nickname for my penis. Its called the Octagon, but I also nicknamed my testes -- my left one is James Westfall and my right one is Doctor Kenneth Noisewater. You ladies play your cards right you just might get to meet the whole gang.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:22 PM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]



The Mother Jones article has at least one argument that is flat-out insane:

But what about our civil liberties? Maybe you think that even if TSA's procedures are slightly useful, they aren't useful enough to justify all the intrusion. . . .Think again: if a plane comes down, you can just kiss your civil liberties goodbye. Today's TSA procedures will seem positively genial compared to what takes their place with the full and eager support of the American public. Given that reality, if you're really worried about civil liberties you should welcome nearly anything legal that protects air travel from explosives, even the things that are really annoying and only modestly useful.

If you're really worried about civil liberties, start giving them up now. Seriously. It actually says that. In those words. Also, we had to destroy the village to save it. You can't make this shit up.


That's not what I got at all. What I got was some realism, which I think has been lacking from the TSA discussion.

It's like posters who compare TSA agents to to Nazis or talk about some Soviet State: Those analogies are very stupid because they overlook the point that, well, our society is very, very, very different from Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. And if another plane comes down, if there is a dirty bomb that goes off in NYC, well, guess what, then we may come closer to those societies.

So why the hell not try to prevent that outcome? What is insane about that?
posted by angrycat at 12:24 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I always feel for front line workers who get a lot of undeserved shit from people.

I have a retort to that, but I'd just be stealing from this blog post which I came across a little while ago. Excerpt:
It is worthwhile to note that your sympathies are being deliberately manipulated here and that this is one of the ways that the exercise of power becomes self-concealing and self-effacing; it is worthwhile to compare this to the experience of talking to a call center employee when trying to address or fight against some unfair exercise of corporate power. In either (and any similar) case, the actual exercise of power at the point of human interaction is assigned to a person least able to do anything about its unfairness.
Every time I've talked to a TSA worker, they've been pretty cool, but that doesn't make the policies they enforce necessarily right, or the shit they get necessarily undeserved.
posted by furiousthought at 12:28 PM on November 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


I could care less if the TSA gave me a happy ending and put the video on Youtube. I'm against the current setup because it's useless and expensive.

I really like the European model of security I encountered pre-9/11 of taking people aside and HAVING A SMART PERSON TALK TO THEM for 10 minutes about the passenger's travel plans. But there's not much contractor payola in that scheme. So currently we have a fight between the politicians bought by the private security contractors vs. the politicians bought by the scanner companies.
posted by benzenedream at 12:30 PM on November 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


I could care less if the TSA gave me a happy ending and put the video on Youtube.

Heck, I'd pay for that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:32 PM on November 30, 2010


Now I really want a TSA shoulder patch that says "Pleasure From Your Submission." Should I put it on a coverall, or get myself a New Jersey State Trooper-style uniform especially for it?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:40 PM on November 30, 2010


It's like posters who compare TSA agents to to Nazis or talk about some Soviet State: Those analogies are very stupid because they overlook the point that, well, our society is very, very, very different from Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. And if another plane comes down, if there is a dirty bomb that goes off in NYC, well, guess what, then we may come closer to those societies.

So why the hell not try to prevent that outcome? What is insane about that?


What's insane about it, angrycat, is that the way it happens -- almost always -- is a little at a time. SOMETIMES it happens when a plane crashes into a building or a bomb goes off downtown. But far more often, historically speaking, it happens when people say things like "oh we have to let this slide to avoid something much worse". TSA agents are not Nazi Stormtroopers or Politburo Thought Police. They are nothing like that and they never will be, as long as ordinary people don't let them become like that. At some point, people have to say stop saying "well, okay, just this one more intrusion" and say, instead, "enough; it stops here".
posted by The Bellman at 12:43 PM on November 30, 2010 [9 favorites]


Bellman, my sense of history is admittedly full of gaps; can you give me an example of what you mean?
posted by angrycat at 12:47 PM on November 30, 2010


> If you don't like the patdowns or the pornoscanners, you have the option not to fly. If enough people opted out
> of using airports to cause a financial impact, you can bet your 3oz toiletries and removed shoes that the TSA
> would come up with more agreeable ways to fondle you.
> posted by crunchland at 3:02 PM on November 30 [+] [!]

And after all you're going to have to give up air travel anyway if you're serious about fighting global warming. Might as well bite the bullet now.
posted by jfuller at 12:47 PM on November 30, 2010


Heck, I'd pay for that.

Twenty bucks, same as in town.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:49 PM on November 30, 2010


The Misplaced Outrage over the TSA Patdown.
posted by blucevalo at 12:56 PM on November 30, 2010


I've reached a point where anything even peripherally associated with the Koch brothers pings my radar as Evil.

Seriously, they could open a puppy rescue to provide comfort to lonely orphans with incurable diseases and I'd still be absolutely certain that, in some way, its real purpose was to fuck over everyone who wasn't rich, white, and their friends.

I'm beginning to suspect that even the simple act of invoking their name outside of the safety of an pentagram will summon demons, clog your drains, and make canned food in your pantry go bad.
posted by quin at 1:02 PM on November 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


Isn't this becoming something of a standard operating procedure for conservatives now?
1) Latch onto an issue.
2) Lie about history to say they've always been populist champions of it.
3) Claim ownership.

Recently, they've tried to do this with Civil Rights and Feminism. Is it any surprise that they're now claiming to always been critics of security theater having just jumped on "don't touch my junk?"
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:08 PM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Eugene Delgaudio, who claims in an email sent by the activist that patdowns are part of a "homosexual agenda" to get "pleasure from your submission."

The more I read about the TSA outrage, the more I think it all stems from the fact that it forces men to deal with something women have to face every day.
posted by Sara C. at 1:12 PM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm progressive.

As a citizen, I am bothered by the TSA and I think the full-body scan is by definition "unreasonable search." I look forward to the constitutional fight - I don't look forward to it being in front of the most conservative court since World War II.

As a person, this freaks me the fsck out.
posted by andreaazure at 1:18 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


My favorite part is Step 4, KirkJobSluder:

4) Accuse everyone else of engaging in the dirty tactics that they used to (or still do) engage in.
posted by muddgirl at 1:20 PM on November 30, 2010


I'm as far left as you can go, but I would love to see the TSA abolished completely. Actually I would be willing to "get rid of the annoyance and bet your life that terrorists will never figure out how to make a better shoe/underwear/liquid bomb". We take a much bigger risk every time we get into a car, or even cross the street. I'm willing to take that chance and fly without security.
posted by mike3k at 1:24 PM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Those homosexuals and their agenda. Don't know where they find the time.
posted by Zed at 1:27 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


angrycat: Not without Godwining the thread, but please feel free to MeMail me.
posted by The Bellman at 1:37 PM on November 30, 2010


I'm as far left as you can go, but I would love to see the TSA abolished completely. Actually I would be willing to "get rid of the annoyance and bet your life that terrorists will never figure out how to make a better shoe/underwear/liquid bomb". We take a much bigger risk every time we get into a car, or even cross the street. I'm willing to take that chance and fly without security.

i'm not as far left as you can go, and i agree completely.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:38 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I refuse to let the right side of the aisle own civil liberties. I've been following Bruce Schneier's take on the TSA (and agreeing with it) for years. Also, fwiw, I'm distinctly against the War on (Some) Drugs and the police being in people's face for Driving While Nonwhite. The idea that the right and right-libertarians are the only people squawking about civil liberties-related issues is and has always been wrongheaded. It makes me cranky.
posted by immlass at 1:44 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had an AskMe question about people's general acceptance of increasingly restrictive airport security 4 years ago. Rereading it, and thinking about my own experience traveling of late, I think the big difference between the TSA security process then and now is that it has become much more physically intrusive. Things got officially nuts when we started putting our shampoo into 3 ounce bottles and taking off everyone's shoes, but it was more an inconvenience and a time waster than an invasion of privacy.

This year, by contrast, I have been through the Rapiscan machine and showed another person my naked body 3 or 4 times. That is not a comfortable thing to think about, but I actively chose it after I opted out the first couple of times and got a thorough enough frisking that I decided naked pictures were better. The Rapiscan is crazily thorough, too; the first time I went through it they said "you have something in your pocket." I said "no I don't," then reached in to confirm and pulled out a dime.
posted by AgentRocket at 1:44 PM on November 30, 2010


I think all of us Metafilter gays should get together and start practicing our pat-down technique on brave and handsome volunteers. I imagine a Gay Vanguard Pat-Down Squad that will go from house to house during the Gay Revolution to pat-down everyone who looks even vaguely suspicious and/or attractive.

Look out, America! The Revolution is coming as we speak.
posted by Avenger at 1:45 PM on November 30, 2010


The furor over the patdowns are beginning to remind me more and more of my attitude towards the Tea Party.

When the Tea Party first started out, it seemed like a natural libertarian reaction to all the bailouts going on. I've got a bit of a libertarian vector, so I was somewhat pleased. But as time progressed it became a louder, noisier version of the movement conservatism we had been seeing all along.

With the patdowns, I've always been a Bruce Schneier fan so when the noise began about this I was happy that the right was finally seeing the light. But then I heard the talking points on the radio shows - they weren't it opposing on principle, they were opposing it because nice, clean white folks were getting groped. The solution is to allow profiling! You know, like this guy wanted. Yeah, that's the talking point now. That's why they're against this. So they can get their anti-Muslim hate on.

Movement conservatism is irredeemable but I don't see any major political realignment in the near future. Its damn depressing.
posted by charred husk at 1:52 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


charred husk: Yes, that's my take on it 2 parts racial profiling and 1 part homophobia.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:05 PM on November 30, 2010


I glance at the comments on foxnews.com and similar bastions of intellectual thought a few times a week to get a sense of which way the political winds are blowing, although I lack the time and inclination to do any kind of rigorous analysis.

The current flap over the TSA revealed an interesting and unusual pattern. When talk of pilot irritation and possible opt-outs from the then-forthcoming rules were first reported, the comments were solidly pro-establishment: why do these ungrateful pilots/travelers not appreciate that this is carried out for their benefit, OMG Muslins [sic], these whiners are stuck in a 9/10 mentality, and so on - exactly the sort of thing one would expect if you were familiar with the audience demographic and recent history.

But a few days later, I was surprised to see that the story still had legs at that site (via headlines in the news feed) and took another look. Complete sea change in the comments! Now they ranged from a moderate plaint that creepy security theater is neither pleasant nor effective (my own view since about an hour after the TSA came into existence) to TSA = perverts to Ben Franklin liberty and security to TSA is just the first wave of the FASCIST POLICE STATE OBAMA DEATH CAMPS >snip<>wide bold stance after a few weeks of discreet silence or elliptical treatment of the issue and characterized the TSA as the agent of Obamistic oppression...although it might just as easily have been a sudden 'revelation' on their part. Intellectual consistency doesn't seem to be a requirement for successful punditry, especially for any core audiences that prefer not to do their own thinking. Looking on various other conservative discussion fora, I saw the same pattern of mostly uncritical support switched to mostly unyielding opposition over the period of about a week.

Given conservatives' general hostility to new ideas, the chances that this was a spark from the grassroots that set the whole prairie afire seem pretty low. Another reason to doubt that as a cause was the curious absence of complaints about the budget for Homeland Security. At ~$55bn a year (maybe $10bn of which goes to TSA, I forget offhand), it's not exactly cheap and as we all know, conservatives are deeply concerned about budget deficits and fiscal rectitude. There has been some talk about this since but it seems not to be much more sophisticated than 'fascist union thugs outta my junk', whereas there's still a strong flavor of 'last straw/now or never' to the new conservative hyperawareness of civil liberties at the airport. The whole thing feels extremely engineered to me, and well-engineered at that - my first thought was 'damn, that's some impressive crowd control!' Again, these are all personal impressions rather than rigorous analysis; I've found my political instincts to be be pretty reliable but think more research is needed to draw any firm conclusions.

The most depressing aspect of this is seeing how even an issue that large numbers of people agree about (the low value and high cost of security theater) can be used to heighten rather than reduce partisanship. Those on the left who have opposed TSA ham-fistedness for a long time are either greeted as immature righties in denial or dismissed as disinformation agents of Obammunism trying to infiltrate a freedom conference. As well as the rational objections, almost every crazy conspiracy theory I saw floated by someone on the left during the Bush years is now offered with equal certitude by the wingnuts...date-ordered search results for 'FEMA death camps' yields particularly glaring examples. If you'll forgive a nerd metaphor, this is less catnip than cathode (context).

I think the US would be better off in a whole host of ways if the TSA were rolled back and the principles and practices of security were evaluated with the decade's worth of hindsight we now have. this is not just a matter for the administration but a debate the American public needs to have with itself if it is to move towards a wiser and more multilateral foreign policy in the 21st century. But by debate I do not mean mob participation.

for once this might actually be an issue that we sensible people and those fascist pig-dogs can usefully unite against

If you lie down with dogs, expect to rise up with fleas. The enemy of your enemy is not your friend, even if your interests are momentarily aligned; if anything, such situations call for greater selectivity, not less.

posted by anigbrowl at 2:08 PM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hey look at the positive side; Maybe it means fewer conservatives will travel by air this Holiday season. Less crowding at the airports for a while in some parts of the country.
posted by Rashomon at 2:08 PM on November 30, 2010


Mmmm lice, scabies, and pandemics--oh my.

Seems to be more threatening than some homosexual agenda.
posted by stormpooper at 2:12 PM on November 30, 2010


This is not a right-wing issue. It's an issue for anybody who cares about being fondled or looked at naked so that various government employees can cover their asses...

That's funny, because you've framed it exactly as a right-wing issue. The difference is the emphasis on individual TSA agents looking at, touching, possibly enjoying your body, and they have all the usual quasi-racist stereotypes about government employees: lazy, stupid, incompetent, etc. The purpose of this is to make it possible to protest the actual policies without calling state power into question. So yeah, this is a bipartisan issue, but only in a very narrow sense, that it has the potential to be a political win for either party if the policy gets changed. Who wins depends on what reasons are articulated for the change, and right now it's leaning conservative.
posted by AlsoMike at 2:16 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Reddit has a Subreddit specifically for bitching about the TSA (originally it was just about organizing an add against the patdowns, but I'm not sure what happened to that. It seems totally unnecessary given just how much media attention this has gotten). It is definitely something that left-wing people hate just as much as right wing people. But reddit seems to be populated with the dissaffected/Glenn Greenwald type liberals then the more mainstream democrat types.

On the left you have people who would would be totally against this if Bush was president basically shrugging their shoulders, and on the right you have crazy right wingers trying to make political, partisan hay out of this. I find both groups pretty obnoxious.

Of course the fact that right-wingers glomed onto this isn't surprising, anytime there is mass criticism against the government, whatever side is out of power is going to immediately pick up the flag and run with it (of course to immediately stop caring once they actually get into power. Right-wing senators, who actually have some say have been defending the TSA)
posted by delmoi at 2:23 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


On the left you have people who would would be totally against this if Bush was president basically shrugging their shoulders.

That first bit is, conveniently enough, a right-wing talking point that Marcotte dismantled just a few hours ago.
posted by muddgirl at 2:28 PM on November 30, 2010


people who would would be totally against this if Bush was president basically shrugging their shoulders,

My general shoulder-shruggitude has more to do with the fact that I don't fly often enough for my protests in the security line to be meaningful at all, and the knowledge that the people with the real power in direct action terms are traveling on business and likely cannot afford to make waves. I suppose I could write my representatives about it, but it's political suicide for any elected official to come out against TSA procedures. Any action I took would be pointless as anything beyond self-righteous back-patting.

So I'm generally pissed off about it, but there's nothing I can really do. Hence the shrugging.
posted by Sara C. at 2:32 PM on November 30, 2010


That first bit is, conveniently enough, a right-wing talking point that Marcotte dismantled just a few hours ago.
I'm not saying that it's the majority of liberals, just that some liberals have joined the "suck it up" brigade. One example would Josh Marshal of TPM, or Chris Matthews on MSNBC. Then there was Whoopie Goldberg on the view who compared Opt-outers to "domestic terrorists" (seriously). I absolutely do think there are a lot of liberals who have suddenly embraced statism because "their guys" are running the state.

It's in no means the average, Internet commenter who feels this way, but they are definitely out there. There are also conservatives who want to start profiling Muslims (or whatever)

Marcotte's article is just about how liberals (i.e. the Glenn Greenwald types) were first on the ball opposing this, which is true, but the more "Centrist" pro-establishment democrats are very supportive of the president and the TSA.
While so far there is no "smoking gun" linking Rep. Mica to the anti-TSA campaign, there is clearly enough evidence to call into question the official version of events as a "spontaneous" outbreak of anti-TSA hysteria carried out by "ordinary guys" that it claims to be. Instead, there is plenty of evidence of a coordinated campaign for purposes that are only just beginning to emerge—a campaign with a profit motive and a political objective.
Spontaneous? Are people not aware that the polices were changed, and the outrage is a reaction to the new, sexually invasive procedures?
posted by delmoi at 2:44 PM on November 30, 2010


Chris Matthews on MSNBC. Then there was Whoopie Goldberg on the view who compared Opt-outers to "domestic terrorists" (seriously).

Chris Matthews is not a liberal. And I'm pretty sure Whoopi was deliberately hired on to The View in order to play devil's advocate. She takes completely absurd positions on everything, and they rarely conform to any typical political stance. She's also an actor, so, ummmm, who cares what she thinks about the TSA?
posted by Sara C. at 2:51 PM on November 30, 2010


Well for one, was Matthews ever a "civil liberties" liberal? I don't see this as Matthews changing his mind, but rather continuing to be the centrist asshole that he is.

It seems to me that Josh Marshall's position is being mischaracterized as "shrugging his shoulders". Here's a direct quote:
We're going on ten years in which we've been conditioned to think that terrorism is such a threat that really any expense -- literal or no -- is warranted in preventing it. Vast wars leading to thousands of American dead and hundreds of billions of dollars of expense. Vast numbers of Iraqis or Afghans dead. No price too high to pay. Various constitutional protections dispensed with? No problem. And if you think it's a problem get in the line marked "Pansy Weak-Kneed Terror Lovers" not the line for "Real Americans". They'll process you're application there. But a simple pat-down, which might be a little awkward and weird, but basically who cares? Well, geez, life and security bought at too high a price is just not worth it.
So yes, the caricature of his position would be "basically, who cares?" ... but the important point is much bigger than that, and it's the same essential point that all the so-called "shruggers" are making: Is this really where we draw the line? Not 8 years ago?

I absolutely do think there are a lot of liberals who have suddenly embraced statism because "their guys" are running the state.

And I just don't see evidence of that.
posted by muddgirl at 2:54 PM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Matthews considers himself a liberal.
posted by delmoi at 2:54 PM on November 30, 2010


I'm pretty sure actual liberals would not agree with his self-assessment.
posted by Sara C. at 2:57 PM on November 30, 2010


We should have a national erection day when male travelers take whatever measurers are necessary to ensure they have an erection when passing through the TSA pornoscanners.

I'd imagine the most realistic idea will be some patriotic or incredibly perverse TSA employee publishing an actual pornography constructed from archives of these scanned images.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:08 PM on November 30, 2010


I'm pretty sure Matthews considers himself a liberal. --- Like many people, he's apparently got a bit of a dichotomy going with his political opinions.
posted by crunchland at 3:16 PM on November 30, 2010


Unless it's taken out of context, this quote implies that Matthews does not consider himself a liberal:

"I'm more conservative than people think I am. ... I voted for George W. in 2000."
posted by Sara C. at 3:21 PM on November 30, 2010


charred husk: ". The solution is to allow profiling! You know, like this guy wanted."

I had to explain to my mother the other day that it wasn't that Israeli airport officials were "talking to people to determine if they're dangerous" so much as not letting Palestinians get on airplanes.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 3:23 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


The solution is to allow profiling! You know, like this guy wanted. Yeah, that's the talking point now. That's why they're against this. So they can get their anti-Muslim hate on.

That's a good point:

... everyone knows that the entire apparatus of the security line is a national homage to political correctness. Nowhere do more people meekly acquiesce to more useless inconvenience and needless indignity for less purpose. Wizened seniors strain to untie their shoes; beltless salesmen struggle comically to hold up their pants; three-year-olds scream while being searched insanely for explosives, when everyone--everyone--knows that none of these people is a threat.

I refuse to let the right side of the aisle own civil liberties.

This statement truly boggles the mind. The "right side of the aisle" equates the ACLU with Satan.

It's too bad this TSA issue is almost completely off the ACLU's radar. C'mon.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:25 PM on November 30, 2010


I had to explain to my mother the other day that it wasn't that Israeli airport officials were "talking to people to determine if they're dangerous" so much as not letting Palestinians get on airplanes.

Matt Yglesias talked about his experience at Ben Gurion airport, as an American. Certainly not the 15 minutes they talk about it taking.
posted by delmoi at 3:43 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


The "right side of the aisle" equates the ACLU with Satan.

I'm not sure how to express my bogglement with the idea that the ACLU is the only locus of pro-civil liberties sentiment in US politics without it sounding insulting. But perhaps you don't know that there's a whole separate tradition of libertarianism that supports the rights the Right is interested in. Right-wingers tend to care about different amendments (they love the Second) and put different spins on the ones they care about in common with the left (see the First on religion), but there are plenty of right-libertarians out there who can come to common ground with left-libertarians on select issues. For instance, Bob Barr has done some worthwhile work since his turnaround on marijuana legislation and the federal marriage amendment, and Ron Paul is solid on habeas corpus for detainees. I wouldn't vote for either one of them for office because of their stands on other issues, but I certainly welcome their support and votes on issues where they agree with me.

The fact that the ACLU is AWOL on the Fourth Amendment implications of TSA policies doesn't help it with anyone with libertarian leanings from either side.
posted by immlass at 4:10 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


TSA privacy issues represent a division between all citizens and all politicians of any major parties.

Any politician of any party dreads tossing away that CONTROL card.
posted by ovvl at 5:17 PM on November 30, 2010


ACLU is AWOL

No they aren't.
posted by various at 5:38 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


No they aren't.

I stand corrected, and pleasantly so.
posted by immlass at 6:24 PM on November 30, 2010


Yeah, I get emails from the ACLU (lapsed member, no money) and they are definitely all over the new TSA policies.
posted by furiousthought at 7:17 PM on November 30, 2010


We should not forget about our home grown terrorists and related wackos. Any serious move towards profiling will likely begin with gender and age.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:51 AM on December 1, 2010


Since I don't think this SLBS (single-link Bruce Schneier) post would be appropriate for the front page, I'll just leave this here: Close the Washington Monument.
posted by charred husk at 9:00 AM on December 2, 2010


Close the Washington Monument (functional link)

Also, anyone got an answer to me question in the previous thread?

"Has anyone had any success smuggling marijuana through either a pornoscanner or pat down? What's the best way to do it: shove it up my asshole and take the pat down?"

What do medical marijuana patients do when they travel by air? Or do they just drive/train instead?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:59 AM on December 2, 2010


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