TSA Watch List/Airport Security, bank regulation, relative poverty, illegal immigration & employers and much more (week of January 28, 2008)
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When a person lifts himself into the lower middle class from poverty it's great.
Yes, the employer does decide who works and who doesn't, but, theoretically, within the confines of the law. Laws are on the books that make it illegal to hire undocumented workers. As you know, those laws are seldom enforced and hence almost always flouted. You're absolutely right that those who hire illegals put those who don't at a competitive disadvantage - and eventually out of business. Not only do those business who hire the illegal labor pay less wages without benefits, they usually don't pay proper business insurance or workman's comp.
Although I agree that the TSA watch lists are useless and a pain to ordinary travelers, I don't agree with your opening remarks:
No Charles- You are THE ONE! I read one page of your writing and added your name to MY list! Welcome back you radical intellectual type. You are being watched for good reason too. be proud of those reasons.
You know what TSA stands for right?
Yep, I'm on the watch list too, and I'm a State Trooper. I called TSA in Boise, Idaho, and discovered that the gentleman in charge of TSA security at the Boise Airport, IS ALSO ON THE WATCH LIST!! It makes me wonder, maybe we are all on the watch list, as our own government cannot trust us....
As I watch the sheeple undress in front of the TSA when I travel, I always find it very amusing. Many times I travel one way since I do not know when or where I will be going after I complete what I have to do. One way tickets are always identified with what I call the "Mark of the Beast" which flags me for a hand check. Of the humility of it all. We are talking about a white, 52 year old slightly over weight guy who has spent half of his like on airplanes over the last 30 years. Now, I will admit I have been accused of being a nihlist and an anarchist (I have no love for our over bloated government if you can not tell).
"No Fly Lists" and "Watch Lists" are antithetical to liberty and democracy. If someone has committed a crime then let them be apprehended and tried in accordance with established law. To deny services or freedom to someone based on mere opinion rather than objective facts goes against the very core of the Constitution. Has fear caused us to abandon reason and principles? Why are my fellow Americans tolerating this?
Does the U.S. need to harden its transportation, infrastructure and border security? No reasonable person would answer "no."
Excerpted from State of the Union II
(this starts out with me, at seventeen, new to the Navy, on a work detail at the great lakes naval training station in 1961)
So, the work-detail went fine. We didn't have to work too hard and I shared the tasks with some pleasant guys. The only one I recall was a big black kid from Chicago named Austin. One day after I had been at this duty for a couple of weeks I was called into an office and questioned about a wallet missing from a locker that was in use; we had been working in occupied barracks. I told them I didn't know anything about it, and that seemed to be that. A day or two later two Shore Patrolmen came to the barracks and took me outside. I was told to get into a jeep and we drove to a nearby Army Camp named Fort Sheridan. I was shown into an office in the basement of the Provost Marshall's building and introduced to a man in his forties in civilian dress. His name was Kaiser. He looked like a banker, suit and tie and buzzed.
Kaiser just had a few questions about the missing wallet. Theft among shipmates was a serious affair given the level of trust needed in such close quarters. I couldn't have agreed more and was as helpful as I could be. I really hadn't seen anything and had no idea who might have taken it. He was such a nice guy, and I really wanted to help him out.
Like an explosion Kaiser slammed his fist down on his desk and became a roaring monster. He shrieked. He foamed. He pounded his desk violently. I was not prepared. Any kid undergoing this today would quickly recognize good cop/bad cop, even when done singlehandedly, because television cop shows have laid interrogation out bare. "Hey, dude, I saw that on Law and Order' Cool." I had no idea.
I will admit, even if I had known I would not have been ready. Interrogation in the abstract is not interrogation in your face. From the abstract to the actual was a huge leap. As he was to point out time and time again in the coming days he had the full weight of military law behind him: the much-dreaded UCMJ, Universal Code of Military Justice. Yes, it is a system of law, but one under which no rights are really accorded to the accused, and the punishments meted out could be as arbitrary as a case of indigestion, or a heart attack. There was no way out for me, he would assure me over and over, and I believed him with complete acceptance.
Kaiser opened a folder, my file, and began to read to me. I was a thief. It was a documented fact that I was a suck-ass thief. Only tools, and I had stopped that, I pled. His voice went on and on, dancing from point to point. We established the fact that I was a virgin. A virgin at 17: ergo, I was queer. Did I want to go into the head with him and we could jack off? I was thereafter referred to as 'pogey bait'. He could change personnas the way most of us change socks, only more quickly. I was never, ever able to establish just who I was dealing with. The man was an absolute master at what he did, and a fearful 17 year old with all the secrets of dysfunctional puberty was a perfect target.
We never really got past anything. My felonies would seem to fade only to return in another context. The same with my lack of sexual experience. I would seem to gain some period of grace during which I was not either hammered with my obvious queerness or reviled as a thief; I was treated with tender respect as a misunderstood lad, and then it would all return like a blood-soaked wheel. I was in shambles internally, soon reduced to a very tight defense of simple answers of 'yes' and 'no'. I had gone into a very small, tight place inside and I was holding out the best I could.
His office was decorated with large blowups of finger prints, framed as if they were art. I had asked something about them and had my head bitten off. I sank further into despair. Kaiser offered me a way out, a polygraph test, which he would personally administer, and this would surely prove my innocence. I accepted eagerly. We went through the process with the blood pressure cuff and the scrolling paper with its tell-tale needle tracks and the questions, and he sadly informed me that it showed that I was truly guilty. I cannot begin to tell you the ups and downs this man took me through without ever laying a hand on me. He was anyone and everyone and no one, and I bought into every whim of his with an appalling eagerness.
This went on for about 8 hours a day for three consecutive days. I was taken back to my barracks after each session and told to be ready for pickup the next morning. The release, the wait, the expectation were excruciating.
The third day we got deeper into my file and my brain damage was addressed. Kaiser was kind and considerate. He had made a terrible error and was contrite. He now saw that due to my brain damage I was a pathological thief and liar, but I didn't even know it! I did these things without conscious knowledge. I was trapped in my illness. He could help. Kaiser described with such clarity the absolute quiet of the hospital I could go to. The clean sheets. The fine people who would look after me. It was too much. I was willing to go there. I wanted desperately to go there and be fixed and be normal and be myself again. Oh, god, how I wanted this!
All I had to do was sign the confession. Then I could go to the hospital. The confession had been around from day one. A yellow legal pad. Since I would not write one out specifying my crimes Kaiser had written one for me. All I had to do was sign it. It was so easy. I longed for the succor of this hospital, and I told him 'no.' I had not taken a wallet, and I would not sign a confession. He exploded. I was too exhausted to care.
My Shore Patrol escort came into the room and took me out. They went back in to talk to Kaiser. I knew I was to go to prison now. The cool, calm hospital would not be mine, because I was not able to sign the false confession. I wept. They came back out and bundled me into the jeep. I asked where we were going. Back to your barracks, they said. What time will you pick me up tomorrow? I asked. They laughed and said they wouldn't.
I knew this was a trick. I knew it. What happens then? I asked cautiously. Nothing, they replied. Kaiser is fed up with you. Nobody lasts 3 days with him, especially some snot-nosed kid fresh from mama's side. Jeez, was he pissed! they told me. He had been an army interrogator for many, many years, and he liked to keep in practice with this kind of stuff. Was he ever upset that he couldn't get you to confess; he threw everything in the book at you.
That weekend I went to Milwaukee and got so drunk I couldn't walk. I got drunk on several succeeding weekends, too. Whatever doubts I had come out of boot camp with, about the power of this beast that I had engaged myself too, I now understood that it, the military, was my undying, implacable enemy. I had over 2 years left to serve
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