Is the next step for the GOP to strip rights away from Muslims?
So how do Republicans want to solve the current TSA security fiasco? By screwing over people who may “look like terrorists.” Two words – ethnic profiling. Rather than investigate the machines or reconsider pat down procedures – Republican Congressmen Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Peter Hoekstra of Michigan want to limit the people who get irradiated or groped to only those of a certain ethnic background. In other words – people who don’t look like them. In two separate radio interview – both GOP lawmakers agreed that profiling is something they would advocate for as an alternative. While they are the first two federal lawmakers to endorse profiling at airports – the Conservative media – mainly Fox News and Rush Limbaugh - has been calling on this security tactic since this debate began a few weeks ago. Of course – it’s much easier to advocate for profiling when you don’t fit the profile – nearly every person who has spoken out in favor has been a white male. Besides the inherent racism in profiling – it also doesn’t work and could make our country less safe. The past 3 attempted bombers have not been of Middle Eastern decent – the shoe bomber Richard Reid was a white Jamaican from the UK. The underwear bomber was Nigerian. And “jihad jane” was a blonde American woman. So is profiling really the best idea? Or is it just the next step for the GOP to strip rights away from Muslims. After all – they apparently can’t build mosques in the country anymore.
Re your blog of 11/23/10:
You said: "...in other words, people who don't look like them." Hmmm...well, with respect to ethnicity, what kind of a name is Chaffetz?...or Hoekstra? There was a time when those names would have caused them to suffer discrimination as "furriners".
Spring Hill, Florida
A friend of mine is a writer and 30 years ago she was stripped searched based only on her ethnicity. She wrote a story about it. "Stripped of More Than My Clothes". It was published in a national newspaper and within 24 hours, officials met and the governments policies regarding racial profiling were changed. Schools of higher education across the country use her story as part of their curriculum now. There are too many people who have forgotten the past.
I flew on business for over 38 years and I know how it feels to be at 30,000 feet and realize that you are totally helpless if attacked by some crazy.
If you don't want to go through security, stay at home or take the train!
I should add, that I am against racial profiling, search everybody or nobody.
Only those ethnicities who fit the profile of terrorist should be profiled eh? Fine. What ethnicity were Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols?
I often miss a good deal of your program. Even though I'm self-employed the nature of my work isn't conducive to listening to talk radio, unless I am able to run some errands and catch some of the program in the car. I heard the tail end today, when the woman who was picking up kids from school/flight attendant of 20 years was on saying, "I remember 9-11 and people need to suck it up if they want to fly safely." Paraphrased, of course.
This may have come up in the course of today's program, and it is not really an answer as to how to deal with reasonable safety in flying--though I thought your points about how much luggage goes unscreened and how many people die in car accidents each year relative to the losses of 9-11 were good ones. I am nonethless struck by the thought that whoever terrorized the nation on 9-11 clearly was interested in wreaking havoc on our way of life. It seems to me that our responses, as exemplified by TSA methods even before scanners and open palm pat-downs, are more fear based than anything else, probably are not making us much safer, and definitely diminished our overall sense of freedom and safety. If the gal who called in remembers 9-11, and clearly she suffered real personal losses, she seems to have no problem with freedom being another casualty. That's what bothers me in the response, both from the President and the TSA. Somehow our responses all along, from Bush with his bullhorn on the rubble to this, are not, to my way of seeing, those of a brave, proud, or free people. Leadership to steer us from the thing we have to fear, fear itself, seems like the starting point--but that is in very short supply these days.
I have come to realize something lately. Stupidity has a price. The payment we make for being stupid is with our own social dignity. We as a society in this world rush to make judgements. Judgements about a certian race of people or a certian religoin. We made made this mistake in the begining of WWII with the japanese. It took forty years or more for us as a society to recognize our mistake. Are we as a society so arrgonant and stupid that we are willing to make mistake again.
Are we as a society willing to alienate an entire race and religous belief in the name of security. We have people in certian positions in our government and society who spew hate and discontent towards people who they neither understand nor want to understand. instead of taking the time to investigate these cultures they manufacture and exgerate truths and lies at their will. They package it up and call it news. They do this in the name of power and greed. I will state and be held responsible for the following statement. Our Congress, Our Senate and Our entire Judicial System as well as most of our news orginizations have a great number of CLOSEST RACISTS in them. They have little if any tolerance for any other race except Caucaisan and they have very little tolerance if any for any religion other than Christianity and most have no tolerance for anyone that is not hetrosexual,no matter what the reason.They present us one face in public and yet another when out of the camera's focus. I know this, because at one time I was one. I came to realize through self education, that the only thing that it shows in being a racist, is that as an idividual, or a group of people, or a society we are socially uneducated. It should show the rest of our society that these individuals or groups of people are bully's. They convince the rest of us, or at least they try to convince the rest of us,that this is done in the name of securityand social betterment. The fact that security is an illusion is hard for most people to accept. It is an illusion that has been fostered upon us by our Government and the power brokkers that they are associated with. The question as citizens of this country is this. Do we want a bully or a racist in our government making policy. Be Damned what party or affilation to what party they have. Do we as a society want these people in a position of power to make policy and pass laws without our consent These people work for us, to let any group or Political party shape our society in such manner is sowing the seeds of our own societies destruction. If we claim to be a free society and a just society then we must demand that our leaders enact laws that treat each and every individual the same.
Body Scanners Follow the money...Try Michael for starters
I used to have to travel internationally and was disgusted to find that after having to go through the Nazi-TSA check points, taking away personal items, like fingernail files, that the airlines provided 7-8" long steel knives with the on-board meals (and this happened on every flight coming and going). To my way of thinking this made a farce out of the TSA. I reported it back then to a number of agencies and news sources but no one seemed to care about it. Yes, TSA and Homeland Security is nothing but a psy-ops program to keep us piqued and worried about some "Muslim terrorist threat" when the real terrorism comes from the US establishment. Now that I am retired (retired early partly because I got tired of the increasing crap that they were making us go through in the TSA check points....when they started to take people's laptops and force people to show the files in them) I said enough is enough. Now I watch people struggle with even more personal assaults using machines and nimble fingers. If you think cell phones might give you brain cancer...I am wondering what all this radiation will do to us down the road. Oh, but industry and our government, bought off by industry, don't care about that. We're in a war...right? Yeah, but it is a class war...rich against everyone else.
Like Gore Vidal says--"America has the stupidest citizens in the industrialized world." I just saw a woman last night on MSNBC who's mother was killed on 911. She's speaking up for the pat-downs and porno-scanners. C'mon, is this person a realistic source in this conversation? She came off as sounding like America must always live in fear because of 911. She tried to say she wasn't for fear, but I think she failed to convince anyone as such.
As an alternative to all this, I heard somewhere that a bomb-proof room should be on site for everyone to walk through. Each person would enter the room and be locked inside for a couple minutes. A scanner would automatically detonate any explosives on that person. Automatic sprinklers would clean the mess which would drain into a floor grate. Then, "next!"
My friend who has a muslim name told me "I am always picked "randomly" for the special security searches where they open your bags and take your undies out one by one handling them... I know it's my name, but they denied it and swore up and down that it's random even though it happened to me every single time." It seems to be racial profiling to me and, yes, this must change.
She also said (paraphrasing) that the Constitution doesn't give you the right to fly! People say incredibly dopey things.
Profiling does not have to be about political correctness. Read this excerpt from the link on your newsletter site:
"...adopting the Israeli model of profiling.
No need to argue — it works to perfection.
Israel has the safest airports and the safest airline (El Al) in the world. There has never been a successful terrorist attack at an Israeli airport or airline.
They ask a series of rapid-fire questions of all passengers. There is no time to lie. If you try to lie, it is easy to detect inconsistencies in your story.
At that point you are pulled aside for a more detailed screening or body search. But everyone does not need to endure the health threat of major radiation, or the privacy violation of intrusive cavity searches"
Israel has highly trained interrogators, not highly paid gropers, who utilize the intelligence background data they have on each individual - how did you pay for your ticket? where is your luggage? - to identify suspect individuals. This type of protocol would take far less time and be far less invasive than the rigors air travelers are now subjected to. We have to stop this humiliating behavior! As others have said, if this is the way we now live, the terrorists have won!
Since the scanners don't see what may be hidden in a body cavity, and since this is the clearest case of invasion of privacy you can imagine in the face of decades long republican whining about degrading morals, and since it cant have a good psychological/emotional effect on the stupid sobs who have agreed to sit there and watch naked people who otherwise do not wish to be seen naked, and since only one percent of shipping containers coming in to this country continue to be searched, one has to deduce that these airport body scans are not about security but rather about training us to obey our masters even if they say to... You get my point. The next step should be for President Obama to stand up (clothed) and tell us why we are being thus trained. Security is important but this is a red flag. If "they" can get away with this they'll be in your home next. In my home state (NM) they're trying to ramrod low level flights of military attack planes over our homes. Just sayin'.
Well that's all fine about profiling Muslims. Except for the fact that according to my information, Joe Lieberman, Newt Gingrich, and at least 79 other prominent republicans- including all of the republican party leaders- are actually closet Muslims who kneel on their prayer rugs four times a day and pray in the direction of Mecca. And not only that, they are also black. And Mexican. At the same time. (They wear makeup when in public.) If this ever becomes public knowledge, republicans all over America will start getting profiled, asked for their birth certificates, and deported to their home country, which of course is Liberia. So don't tell anyone, ok?
I'm looking forward to tomorrow's show segment on charities vs government helping people. I'm always frustrated by conservatives who seem to believe that we don't need government getting involved when we have charities. In Joe Conason's 2003 book, "Big Lies", Joe has a chapter "Faith, Charity and the Mayberry Machiavellis". In that chapter, one paragraph really stood out for me. He wrote, "A simple statistic demonstrates how ridiculous it is to think that private charity can replace the public sector in maintaining the social contract. According to a study prepared several years ago by the Century Foundation, the total assets of America's 34,000 foundations (not the annual income from their endowments) add up to around 10 percent of current government expeditures for social welfare and related programs. There is no reason to believe that ratio has changed much, particularly after plunging equity values decimated the foundation portfolios. Charitable groups lack the resources to sustain the nation's poor at even the most minimal level of survival-let alone to help them escape poverty".
Joe Conason wrote that in 2003 but didn't mention how many years before that the Century Foundation did the study. It would be every interesting to know what has changed in a more up to date study if there is one. I'm betting that charities have much less resources today,
What it comes down to is that many conservatives keep touting charities because they would like to see all public social contracts disappear.