Archive for category TSA
by: Michael Snyder
July 12, 2012
Property rights are being absolutely shredded all over America. Buying a piece of land and enjoying it with your family has always been a big part of the American Dream. Unfortunately, in the United States today you don’t actually own your own home. If you don’t pay your rent (property taxes) your home will be taken away from you, and you are only allowed to use your property in very narrowly defined ways. The control freaks that run things tell us what we can build on our own property, what we can grow on our own property, what types of gatherings we can have on our own property, how many visitors we can have on our own property and they have imposed very strict rules about how our property must be maintained. If we get “out of line”, they will use “zoning ordinances” and “code violations” to make our lives a living hell. All over America today, brutal Gestapo tactics are being used against homeowners that just want to be left alone. Anyone that has ever dealt with a “compliance officer” or a “nuisance abatement team” knows what I am talking about. But if we have so very little “freedom” on our own properties, then how in the world can we continue to call this country “the land of the free”?
Thug Wakes Woman Up And Yells At Her In Bed For Letting Her Grass Grow Too Long
Down in Georgia recently, a huge male “compliance officer” let himself into a woman’s home, marched into her bedroom and started yelling at her for letting her grass grow too long while she was still in bed….
A woman got the shock of her life when she woke up to find a stranger in her bedroom, yelling at her to wake up because her grass was too long.
Erica Masters was asleep when Columbia County Code Compliance Officer Jimmy Vowell entered her Martinez, Georgia, home without permission to serve a violation notice for her overgrown lawn.
After knocking on the woman’s door a few times, Vowell let himself and made his way into her bedroom, which was captured on surveillance video.
How would you respond if a strange man barged into your bedroom and started berating you about the length of your grass?
Elderly Americans Being Evicted For Not Paying Property Taxes
All over America, homeowners are being evicted from their family homes because of unpaid property taxes. In some cases, the amount that is owed is only a few hundred dollars.
Big banks such as Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have been buying up tax liens all over the country because they are extremely profitable….
Tax liens can yield an incredible rate of return, as high as up to 50%. Many state laws permit tax lien purchasers to charge homeowners extremely high interest rates and fees to redeem their property in order avoid foreclosure. (For example, redemption penalties in Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Texas all exceed 20%.) For these reasons, tax lien sales are often marketed as “get-rich quick” schemes on websites. Investors take advantage of the fact that the tax sale process is arcane and rarely understood by homeowners. And states do little to inform homeowners about steps they can take to avoid foreclosure. Very few states have enacted procedures to protect owners’ equity interests or to avoid windfalls to purchasers, and almost no states have updated tax lien laws to reflect current economic conditions or to ensure that proper safeguards exist to avoid unnecessary loss of homeownership.
In many cases, elderly Americans that don’t even understand what is happening are being forced from their homes just so that the “investors” can make some quick money. Just check out what one recent report said happened to an 81 year old woman living in Rhode Island….
The report cited a case of an 81-year-old Rhode Island woman who fell behind on a $474 sewer bill. A corporation bought the home in a tax sale for $836.39. The woman was evicted from the home she had lived in for more than 40 years and the corporation resold the place for $85,000, the report said.
Most investors, however, buy tax liens for the interest. That’s because many states allow investors to charge rates of 18% or more on the outstanding debts. And, in some cases, as much as 20% to 50%, the report said.
Here is another example of an elderly woman being evicted from her home over unpaid taxes….
One elderly Montana woman, who lived alone and had no close family to help her, fell more than $5,000 behind on taxes, the report said. After she failed to respond to letters from the company that bought her home in a tax sale, she was evicted from her Missoula home. As a result, she lost about $150,000 in equity in the property, according to the report.
Could you do that to an elderly woman?
Shame on those that are pulling these scams, and shame on the states for not changing their laws to prevent this from happening.
40 Years Of Home Improvements Gone
All over the country, control freak bureaucrats are using “code violations” to force homeowners to tear down beautiful home improvements.
This is especially true for homeowners that have gone “off the grid”.
For example, a 67 year old man in California has spent 40 years transforming his property into an amazing “off the grid” self-sustaining habitat….
Four decades ago, Hoffman started some home improvements on his house in the wooded hills of the Marin County town of Lagunitas. He harbored ideas and theories of how people could live more sustainably. He started building.
He dug a massive valley near the slope of his home and installed a pond. In the middle of it he built a concrete boat to house a 15-foot well. The groundwater would refill the pond, through a sun-powered pump.
As the owner of a tea distribution business, Hoffman also built a tea-house with ornate metal carvings of dragons and a sloped tile roof.
He carved elaborate caves to dry his rare tea leaves. He constructed a tower bearing a solar shower that hovers over a moat carrying recycled water from the house.
“Most people come here, they see the visual, they see the structures,” said Hoffman. “For me what’s important is the systems behind it.”
But now authorities are making him tear everything down because of “code violations”. Hoffman has been charged fines that total over $200,000, and he is being forced to tear down “all 30 of his illegal structures” by the beginning of August.
Survival Garden Ripped Out By Government Thugs
I have used the following story before, but it is another perfect example of the kind of Gestapo tactics that are being used against homeowners all over the United States.
Just recently, one unemployed woman down in Tulsa, Oklahoma had her survival garden brutally ripped out and carted away by government thugs…
A Tulsa woman is suing the city’s code enforcement officers after she said they cut down her garden with no cause.
Denise Morrison said she has more than 100 plant varieties in her front and back yards and all of them are edible and have a purpose.
She knows which ones will treat arthritis, which will make your food spicy, which ones keep mosquitoes away and treat bug bites, but she said none of that matter to city inspectors.
Last August, Morrison’s front and back yards were filled with flowers in bloom, lemon, stevia, garlic chives, grapes, strawberries, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint, an apple tree, walnut tree, pecan trees and much more.
And for this woman, it really was a “survival garden”. She relied on those plants and trees for her food and for her medicine.
But the government thugs left her with nothing.
Now she will have to do the best that she can to survive on government handouts.
Sadly, there are so many other examples that could be discussed of brutal Gestapo tactics being used against homeowners all over America.
The other day, I wrote about how one man down in Arizona has been sentenced to 60 days in prison and has been fined $12,180 for hosting a Bible study in his own home.
Most of the time the gatherings were only of about 15 or 20 people. They were not unruly and did not make an unreasonable amount of noise.
If we can’t invite a few friends over to our own homes, then how much “freedom” do we really have left?
In the state of California, armed “nuisance abatement teams” roam around looking for someone to hit with a “code violation”. Preppers and those that prefer an “off the grid” lifestyle appear to be some of their favorite targets.
You can view a video about these “nuisance abatement teams” in California right here. But please be warned that the video is likely to make you quite angry.
Is This Still America?
We don’t get to do what we want with our own properties, but the government feels that it can do just about anything it wants to us in the name of “national security”.
In a previous article I detailed 14 cutting edge technologies that the government will be using to watch, monitor and control us.
The following are a few more ways that the “Big Brother control grid” is expanding….
-A new laser scanner that the Department of Homeland Security will soon be using at U.S. airports can search you from 160 feet away….
Within the next year or two, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away. From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body—agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you.
-One TSA insider is actually claiming that the TSA is hiring criminals that have just been released from prison to do security checks on travelers at U.S. airports. Perhaps this explains why one TSA agent recently sifted her finger through the ashes of someone’s dead grandfather and then laughed about it after she spilled some of the ashes on the floor of the airport. Another TSA agent recently referred to a deaf man as “deafie” and stole his candy.
But how many of these stories do you hear about on the evening news?
Perhaps this is why a recent Gallup poll found that faith in television news is at an all-time low in the United States.
Instead of reporting on the destruction of our liberties and freedoms, the mainstream news is obsessed with Justin Bieber, Tom Cruise and the Kardashians.
It is truly disgusting.
The ability to own a piece of land and establish a home on it is absolutely foundational to the functioning of a free society. Even the most ancient societies understood this.
Sadly, our most basic freedoms are being steadily eroded with each passing day.
Once our freedoms are gone, they will be incredibly difficult to get back.
by: Paul Joseph Watson
July 9, 2012
“Obedience training” is part of TSA’s Code Bravo security drill.
The TSA has failed to respond to the now confirmed fact that the federal agency has introduced a bizarre new policy in which travelers are ordered to “freeze” on command by TSA screeners while passing through security, a policy described as “obedience training” by critics.
In our article on Friday, we featured the story of a man who was passing through airport security when he heard a commotion.
“We heard a “freeze, freeze” or something like this coming from the output side of (false) security (where my wife was), followed by further barking of commands. From where I was, I couldn’t see much.”
“It turns out they were doing a new drill. They want all passengers to freeze on command. My wife told me later that she didn’t follow this order fast enough, so the subsequent barks I heard were directed at her.”
We have since received numerous emails and other correspondence from other people traveling through U.S. airports who have experienced the same situation where they were commanded to “freeze” by TSA workers.
“This happened to me last year in Atlanta,” one traveler told us via email.
“It’s not new. They’ve been playing “freeze tag” with naive sheeple for at least a year. They call it a “Code Bravo.” People who have experienced it call it a “Code Bravo Sierra,” added another.
The story was also covered by Gather.com’s Jim Kane, who asked, “This anecdote has not been confirmed by the safety agency, so it should remain in the rumor zone at this point. But, considering all the crazy TSA rules, would anyone be surprised if it were true?”
However, the policy is no mere anecdote, it’s a confirmed fact. The TSA is ordering travelers to “freeze” on command as part of a security drill named ‘Code Bravo’. This is documented in a New York Times article written by Joe Sharkey in which Sharkey explains how he was caught up in the fiasco on two separate occasions in both Atlanta and Los Angeles.
When Sharkey failed to obey a TSA screener who shouted “freeze,” he was assailed by another traveler who “growled” at him, “You’re supposed to freeze!” as other passengers complied with the bizarre demand.
Sharkey later discovered that the TSA had no power to force travelers to comply with the command.
“Passengers are not required to ‘freeze’ in place like statues,” TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee admitted.
However, in every case where the “freeze” command has been witnessed, the behavior of TSA agents has made it clear to travelers that if they don’t do precisely that, they will face the consequences.
“It was clear to me that travelers believed they were required to stop and stand motionless — even those who had cleared security and were merely within shouting distance of the checkpoint. Officers seemed to reinforce that impression, too,” writes Sharkey.
“As we were going through the security checkpoint, one of the supervisors suddenly yelled ‘freeze!’ Everyone was forced to just stand there for about a minute. We were not allowed to move, fidget, look around, speak, nothing,” commented another woman who had traveled through Atlanta Airport.
Treating passengers like naughty children or prisoners on a whim as part of a “drill’ that has no purpose whatsoever is par for the course when it comes to the TSA’s twilight zone approach to airport security.
As WeWontFly.com’s James Babb describes, this is nothing more than “obedience training.” The American people and travelers in general are being ‘broken in’ to accept their subservience in what represents the human equivalent of horse training.
Just last week the TSA admitted that it had introduced the equally ludicrous new policy of testing travelers’ drinks purchased in the airport after they had already passed through security.
Infowars contacted the TSA on Friday morning regarding the ‘freeze on command’ policy but has not received a response. In addition, no explanation or denial of the policy appears on the TSA Blog website. The federal agency presumably doesn’t want to draw media attention to the insane policy in order to protect its already savaged public image.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.
by: Michael Snyder
July 4, 2012
Every single year, Americans take the day off on July 4th and they celebrate everything that is good about America. We tend to be very proud of our achievements and we generally are not shy about talking about them. For example, today CNN is running a piece entitled “100 great things about America“.
And you know what? There are a lot of great things about this country. I am not afraid to say that I love America. In many ways it has been a great light for the rest of the world since it was founded.
However, things have changed. The United States has greatly fallen from where it once was. The truth is that America is rotting and decaying in thousands of different ways. We need to repent and go back to doing the things that once made this country great. The road that we are currently on is a path that leads to national suicide.
So, to be honest, now is not really the time for happy celebrations. Rather, now is the time for weeping, mourning and deep reflection. We need to turn from our profligate ways and we need to return to the fundamental principles that the early Americans understood so well. As a nation we need to look into the mirror and understand just how bad our decline has been. We are a complete and total mess, and it is time to admit that.
The following are 70 reasons to mourn for America….
1. Most Americans know much more about Kim Kardashian than they do about the Federal Reserve.
2. The way that the TSA abuses travelers is a national embarrassment. One TSA agent recently sifted her finger through the ashes of someone’s dead grandfather and then spilled his ashes all over the airport floor.
3. Many young people in America are willing to wait in line to pay a 400% markup on new Kanye West sneakers, but most of those same young people cannot even tell you how many members of Congress there are.
4. Many Americans seem to be far more interested in American Idol and Dancing With The Stars than they are in dealing with the very serious economic, political and moral problems facing this nation.
5. A recent survey found that 61 percent of all Americans believe that “paying your fair share of taxes” is being patriotic.
6. We currently have the worst president in U.S. history, and there is a chance that we may have to endure another 4 years of his insanity.
7. We have a Supreme Court that appears to have very little respect for the U.S. Constitution.
8. The financial center of our country, Wall Street, is full of psychopaths.
10. The highways of America are rapidly being turned into a high tech prison grid.
11. American children today are very spoiled, very undisciplined and most of them wouldn’t know a day of hard work if it came up and bit them on the behind.
12. Today, approximately 25 million American adults are still living with their parents.
14. Of all the major industrialized nations, America is the most obese. Mexico is in second place.
15. According to one recent survey, only 25 percent of all Americans have 6 months of emergency savings stored up.
16. The United States leads the world in credit card fraud.
17. You know that things are bad in America when even the U.S. Secret Service has developed “an Animal House reputation” for partying wildly while guarding Barack Obama during his vacations on Martha’s Vineyard.
18. In many areas of the country crime is getting worse and thieves are stealing just about anythingthat is not bolted down.
19. One recent poll found that only 70 percent of Americans agree with the Declaration of Independence.
20. The average American watches 28 hours of television every week.
21. There are more school shootings in America than anywhere else in the world.
22. Authorities are warning that ATM thefts are on the rise again.
23. Incredibly, 85 percent of the stuff sold at the biggest retailer in the United States is made outside of the country.
24. The average American drinks more than 600 sodas every single year. That is by far the most in the world.
25. The United States has the most lawyers per capita in the entire world.
26. Approximately 50 million babies have been slaughtered in hospitals and abortion clinics in America since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.
27. The media is now trying to convince us that killing off our elderly grandparentswhen they get sick is the “right thing” to do.
28. According to one survey, 50 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 cannot find the state of New York on a blank map.
29. Americans take more prescription drugs than anyone else on the planet.
30. The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world.
31. The United States has the highest rate of illegal drug use in the entire world.
32. Faith in almost every major American institution is near an all-time low.
34. Our food is rapidly being transformed into absolute garbage. As I wrote about the other day, at this point more than 70 percent of all processed foods sold in the U.S. contain at least one ingredient that has been genetically modified.
35. More people have been diagnosed with mental disorders in America than anywhere else on earth.
37. Our public schools have become horribly repressive indoctrination centers.
38. The United States produces more pornography by far than any other nation in the world does.
40. The United States has the highest divorce rate in the world by a very wide margin.
41. American families are rapidly getting poorer. According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of families in the United States declined “from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010“.
42. According to one study, one out of every four teen girls in the United States has at least one sexually transmitted disease.
43. The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate on the entire globe.
44. The United States leads the world in eating disorder deaths.
45. Nobody has more airport security thugs groping women and children than America does.
46. Many Republicans still believe that George W. Bush was a “conservative” and that he was a “good president”.
47. The Obama administration is considering plans to unilaterally slash the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal by up to 80 percent.
48. The United States has the most complicated tax system on the entire planet.
49. All over the United States, chaplains are being banned from praying in the name of Jesus.
50. The United States exports more arms to other countries than anyone else in the world.
51. The United States has the highest child abuse death rate on the entire globe.
52. Every single year, the United States has the largest trade deficit in the world by far.
53. The United States was once ranked #1 in the world in GDP per capita. Today wehave slipped to #12.
54. One of the most popular movies in America right now is about men dancing around and taking their clothes off.
55. Americans spend more time sitting in traffic than anyone else in the world.
56. According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans now have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.
57. The percentage of Americans that consider the Bible to be important continues to fall.
58. Some schools in America have decided to start using RFID tracking chips to monitor the movement of their students.
59. Society is starting to collapse all around us and it seems like the number of psychos in America is multiplying.
60. The poverty rate for children living in the United States is now 22 percent.
61. Nobody in the world gets more plastic surgery done than Americans do.
62. Many young people in America today are not afraid to viciously verbally abuse those that are elderly.
64. The U.S. government wastes more money than any other government on earth does by far.
65. All over America, people are being attacked by mobs simply because of the color of their skin.
66. Today, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.
67. America has pushed God out of every corner of public life and now we are really starting to really feel the consequences of that.
68. In Colorado, many people returned home after the recent wildfires only to find that their homes had been looted.
69. There is more hate and division in America today than at any other time in recent memory.
70. The U.S. national debt is rapidly approaching 16 trillion dollars and the total amount of debt in the country is rapidly approaching 55 trillion dollars.
So what do you think about the current state of America?
by: Milo Nickels
July 3, 2012
It’s Independence Day in America—that day where we fly our flags, picnic with our loved ones, marvel at fireworks, and celebrate our freedom. But do we really have anything to celebrate? Let’s find out.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary online defines independence as:
the quality or state of being independent
This definition isn’t all that helpful without defining the word independent. Once again we return to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online and find these definitions for the word independent:
a. “not subject to control by others”
b. 2) “not looking to others for one’s opinions or for guidance in conduct”
c. “not requiring or relying on others”
Therefore, a complete definition of the word independence would be:
the quality or state of not being subject to the control of others, not looking to others for guidance in conduct, and not relying on others.
Now ask yourself, according to this definition, are you independent?
Anyone who answers that question affirmatively is either delusional, dishonest, or reading this article from the safety of a padded room in their local mental institution. Of course you’re not independent!
Can you really say you are “not subject to control by others”? Try driving down the street without having to obey countless traffic laws. Try filming a cop as he beats up a fellow “free” citizen. Try flying to your family’s fourth of July picnic without having your genitals groped by the TSA.
Everything you do is regulated, everything you say is monitored and censored, and every transaction you make is taxed. Even the “free” choices you make are restricted and controlled by the government. When you choose between a limited set of options, you don’t actually make a real choice at all. Make no mistake: you are under complete control.
Although you may not be “looking to others for…opinions or for guidance” from the government, the government will relentlessly bombard you with their unsolicited opinions—constantly letting you know what is best for you. And, even worse, they don’t just offer their opinions, they force you to adhere to them through laws, violence, coercion, and taxation. The government seeks to control your opinions about every topic the same way a rapist seeks to control your opinions about who you should have sex with. They hold a gun to your head and say, “you know you want it.”
Do you require or rely on others? Hopefully not. Of the three components ofindependence, this one is the most vital. If you don’t rely on the government, then they lose most of their power to control your actions or guide your opinions. This is precisely why the government perpetually seeks ways of making us rely on them. By removing our ability to take responsibility for our own actions and be held accountable for the results, they gain control. This is also why, every time the government “helps” us acquire a service, the cost of that service goes through the roof—that way, it makes others have to turn to the government for that same service.
We’ve reached a point where people can’t even imagine privately funding education, saving for their own retirements, paying their own doctors, or deciding what to put into their own bodies—a point where people expect the government to censor the TV so they don’t have to take responsibility for what they watch, where people expect the government to outlaw drugs and prostitution so they don’t have to take responsibility for their own poor decisions, and where people expect the government to ban everything that they don’t personally agree with (denying others the opportunity to make their own decisions).
Of the three components of independence, this is the one we can use to take the power back, by simply taking responsibility of our own lives. Sadly, however, taking responsibility is a lot more work than sitting idly by and letting the government run your life for you, and most people are content to do just that. Like dogs on leashes, they forget about the leash as long as they get an easy meal once in a while.
Please wake up to this fact: we are not free and we do not have independence. We have drones in our skies, troops on our streets, the TSA in our pants, the IRS in our wallets, the police in our faces, and the NSA in our business.
On this 4th of July, instead of blindly celebrating false independence, let’s try to remember how we gained real independence in the first place. It didn’t come easy, but nothing worth having ever does. I hope that each and every person that reads this will privately issue their own Declaration of Independence—make a personal vow to live freely, take responsibility, let other’s live their own lives as they see fit, speak out against tyranny, and refuse to blindly follow the masses.
In living this way, we will hopefully make large strides back toward independence, and once again have a reason to celebrate in the future. As for this year, however, let’s remember the words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
Milo Nickels began blogging and cartooning about politics in the year 2000. After achieving some notoriety at that time, Milo took a break. Now, Milo has launched a new website, Five Cent Revolution where he continues to write about political issues. In particular, Milo focuses on constitutionalism, critiques of modern liberalism and progressivism, and defends individual liberty above all else. Milo wants the government out of our wallets, out of our business, and out of our lives to the greatest extent possible.
Sunday, July 01, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] The Transportation Security Administration is already known for being one of the most, if not the most, inept, incompetent and criminal of all the federal agencies. Now we can add cruel and heartless to the growing list of TSA outrages.
John Gross of Indianapolis suffered unbelievable humiliation at the hands of a female TSA agent at the airport in Orlando, Fla., after she insisted on opening a jar containing his grandfather’s remains. When doing her “inspection,” she promptly spilled them on the floor.
Before the “accident,” Gross pleaded with the agent to “be careful.”
“They opened up my bag, and I told them, ‘Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes,” he told a local ABC News affiliate.
“She picked up the jar. She opened it up,” Gross said. Then she dropped them.
The remains of Gross’ grandfather, who was 91 when he passed, had been divided up among family members after he died a decade ago. Gross had been given his portion by his uncle during his trip.
Here’s the rub – the agency wasn’t even supposed to open the jar
The jar was clearly marked “Human Remains” and was in a tightly sealed jar.
Gross said one-third to one-half of his grandfather’s ashes spilled; worse, he said, the agent laughed as he worked to recover what he could.
“She didn’t apologize. She started laughing,” Gross told the station. “I was on my hands and knees picking up bone fragments. I couldn’t pick up all, everything that was lost. I mean, there was a long line behind me.”
Talk about adding insult to injury.
What’s even worse is that – as usual – checking those remains was against the TSA’s rules.
According to the TSA’s own Web site, “Passengers are allowed to carry a crematory container as part of their carry-on luggage, but the container must pass through the X-ray machine.”
Continuing, the site says: “Out of respect to the deceased and their family and friends, under no circumstances will an officer open the container even if the passenger requests this be done. Documentation from the funeral home is not sufficient to carry a crematory container through security and onto a plane without screening.”
What the agency was supposed to do was put the remains through an X-ray machine.
So why did that female TSA agent open the remains? Does she not know the rules? Does she care?
Gross wants to see some contrition, and he’s absolutely right to demand it.
“I want an apology,” he said. “I want an apology from TSA. I want an apology from the lady who opened the jar and laughed at me. I want them to help me understand where they get off treating people like this.”
As of this writing, Gross has yet to receive an apology.
TSA needs to be out of the security business
The TSA has such an awful history, it’s pathetic. Why this agency still exists is – well, Congress’ fault.
“TSA needs to immediately remove themselves from the human resource business. This report details highly disturbing cases where pedophiles and child pornographers wearing federal law enforcement uniforms are not only patting down unsuspecting travelers, but in many cases stealing valuables from their bags,” U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said recently in a highly critical report about the agency.
“Enough is enough. It’s time for Congress to step in and demand accountability from Administrator (John) Pistole,” she said.
She wants the TSA out of the “security” business altogether, if not out of American airports.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky wants the TSA gone as well.
“The American people shouldn’t be subjected to harassment, groping, and other public humiliation simply to board an airplane,” Paul said in May.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] While the Central Intelligence Agency has a history of paying off petty tyrants and thugs in its quest to keep America safe, no regular federal agency would purposely seek out and hire the dregs of society. Right?
Enter the illustrious Transportation Security Administration. Are you surprised?
According to “Rob,” a TSA supervisor-turned-whistleblower, in an interview with the Alex Jones Show, the agency’s brass is directing staff to hire degenerates – people with criminal records who have exhibited violent tendencies and psychopathic behavior.
How do you like air travel now?
During the interview, Rob talked about his job, which entailed filing reports on TSA screeners who did not follow agency procedures. He said he was alarmed by the fact that the agency was hiring a number of criminals who he said exhibited the behavior of “psychopaths.”
“We have a program in the state of Rhode Island where we take prisoners who are out for non-violent drug offenses and everything else – basically sociopaths – and we’re sending them to a ten-day course and getting them in uniform checking out people,” the whistleblower said.
He noted that people who presented themselves very professionally were often passed over in favor of applicants who had spent time in jail and who had megalomaniacal, power-trip tendencies.
The aberrancy is getting noticed
“If they have a background and it’s something like violence or abusing authority we put them right in, we put them guys on the floor first day,” said Rob, who also said he was encouraged to hire veterans from the Iraq war who had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“It’s all about the power trip, it’s all about having people bug their eyes out at the public and getting the public conditioned to the fact that the police state is coming,” Rob said, adding that TSA screeners were instructed to stick out their chests in arrogance and “eyeball people.”
The TSA’s bizarre behavior, as well as the agency’s lower-than-low hiring standards, is getting noticed by more and more people. Fortunately for all Americans, an increasing number of those are people who can do something about it (let’s hope they do).
Take a recent report about the TSA by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. In it she highlighted the fact that TSA agents engage in criminal behavior so often it’s almost routine. She says that’s no aberrancy, it’s because of “TSA’s hiring practices and insufficient use of background checks.”
“This report details highly disturbing cases where pedophiles and child pornographers wearing federal law enforcement uniforms are not only patting down unsuspecting travelers, but in many cases stealing valuables from their bags,” she told a local news station in early June. “Enough is enough. It’s time for Congress to step in and demand accountability from Administrator [John] Pistole.”
But what should Americans expect?
Criminal risk-based organization?
The TSA’s recruitment policy does not reflect its own mantra, which is that it was created as an “intelligent risk-based organization.” The agency doesn’t conduct criminal and background checks on many of its employees, Blackburn’s report noted, and that it trolls for employees by advertising “for employment at the Washington Reagan National Airport on pizza boxes and on advertisements above pumps at discount gas stations in the D.C. area.”
Rob also told Alex Jones that TSA screeners were being ordered by supervisors to check bags of people who were only coming to the airport to pick up a traveler. He said he was once directed to search a diaper bag that belonged to a woman who had only come to the airport to pick up her husband.
A little much?
“We’re doing patrols in the parking lot with dogs, we’re even going as far out to the train station because the train station is connected to the airport here and we have guys walking around the train station, walking around the rental cars, we’re inspecting cars coming into the parking garage, I mean we’ve fully expanded – we’re no longer just at the gate and just at the security checkpoint,” he said, adding that supervisors were firing agents who refused to grope travelers in certain areas.
Rob, the report noted, was contacted by his bosses shortly after the interview and reprimanded, by the way.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] What does it say when an agency is so afraid of what its own employees might say, that it is willing to invest in technology to spy on them to prevent (or, at a minimum, identify) whistleblowers? In this day and age, the Leviathan seems unwilling to stop at anything to protect its growing police state.
According to NextGov, the Transportation Security Administration - that bastion of civil rights and professionalism – top agency officials, stung by recent revelations that the TSA’s billion-dollar scanners aren’t able to detect small metal objects and other reputation-damaging incidents – are shopping around for a computer program capable of snooping on employees’ online activities.
Procurement documents posted online at FedBizOpps.gov, the federal Web site where agencies solicit bids from private firms on a range of items, software and services, say the TSA is concerned about an “insider threat,” and as such is “in need of a tool” to “monitor and detect insider threats…at the user host level.”
When all else fails, trample the rights of your own employees too
“The scope of this procurement is an enterprise insider threat software package. In order to detect an insider threat, technology is required to monitor and obtain visibility into users’ actions. TSA Focused Operations requires a tool that can monitor user activities at the user host level,” says the solicitation.
Specifically, the TSA software must be capable of monitoring activities through, among other capabilities:
– Keystroke monitoring/logging
– Chart monitoring/logging
– Email monitoring
– Network activity monitoring
– File transfer monitoring
– Document tracking/monitoring
– Screenshot capture
“All activities that are being monitored/logged must call back to a central enterprise command infrastructure and transfer its collected data,” the solicitation says.
Nice, huh? Now the agency doesn’t even trust its own employees – so little that, according to the solicitation, the program the agency eventually adopts must be secret to the employee. “The end user must not have the ability to detect this technology,” it says.
Naturally, and right on cue, the TSA defended its action.
“As the agency whose serious responsibility it is to deal with national security, TSA must remain vigilant to safeguard sensitive information in order to secure the nation’s transportation systems,” said spokesman David A. Castelveter, in a recent statement. “This software is intended to assist in carrying out that mission. This initiative will be used in accordance with all federal laws and will be reserved for specific instances that meet TSA’s qualifications for an insider threat.”
Legitimate or not – and we’re betting not - TSA officials could be setting the agency up for a repeat of a lawsuit filed by employees against the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year for – you guessed it – spying on them. In their suit, employees claimed that the FDA read employee emails and screenshots were gathered from their computers following a complaint some of them lodged with the Office of Special Counsel over agency approval of unsafe medical devices.
History of rank incompetence and cover-up
Still, a raft of bad PR obviously has the TSA on the defensive. Last November, the agency became embroiled in another of its many scandals after a whistleblower accused the agency of hiding her sexual assault, which occurred at the hands of a TSA investigator, by forcing her to sign a document disavowing the incident.
Nilda C. Marugame, a TSA worker at Lihue airport, consequently tried to notify the Assistant Federal Security Director, but she was suspended for three days and then forced to sign a statement saying the sexual advances were consensual.
“She says she is ‘at least the third woman to report unwelcome sexual advances’ from the same man, and that all of his victims were retaliated against with suspension or threats of termination,” says a report about her complaint by Courthouse News Service.
Sexual deviancy – along with rank incompetence, violations of the law and a sound trampling of the Constitution – are all characteristics of this rogue agency, which now appears willing to do anything to hide ineptitude, including spying on its own.
By David Ferguson
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
A TSA worker at an airport in Florida violated the agency’s policy when she opened a container containing the ashes of a passenger’s grandfather and spilled them on the terminal floor,according to Indianapolis, Indiana’s ABC affiliate station, WRTV Channel 6.
John Gross of Indianapolis was visiting relatives in Florida when an uncle, acting on the wishes of the family, gave Gross a portion of his grandfather’s ashes. Mario Mark Marcaletti came to the United States as an immigrant from Sicily and passed away in 2002 at the age of 91. Gross was presented with the ashes in a tightly sealed jar, marked “human remains,” which he assumed would warrant enough respect that he would be able to board his flight home unmolested.
He was wrong.
When he arrived at the TSA checkpoint, “They opened up my bag, and I told them, ‘Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes.’ She picked up the jar. She opened it up.”
The agent not only opened the sealed jar, but stirred the contents with her finger, allowing an estimated quarter to a third of the ashes to spill out on to the floor.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video has to be worth millions. And until millions of words expressing doubt, distrust, angst and displeasure at the ongoing multi-billion dollar scandal that is the Transportation Security Administration, don’t expect the air travel experience in America to improve anytime soon. Or security, for that matter.
An incredible new video by Jonathan Corbett, a privacy rights activist who runs the Web site, “TSA Out of our Pants” and is involved in a Fourth Amendment lawsuit against the agency, shows just how worthless the TSA’s billion-dollar body scanners really are (except, of course, for screeners to be able to scope out attractive men and women).
In the video, Corbett demonstrates how easy it was for him to take a metal object through a TSA airport security checkpoint in Cleveland in March of this year, one that was equipped with an expensive body scanner. Corbett videos the entire process, but the video he posted online at his site includes airport security video of the incident as well, which he says he obtained from the airport and the TSA after filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Moreover, he claims the TSA became aware he was able to breach one of the most expensive pieces of airport security equipment currently in use and has spared little effort in trying to kill the story.
TSA warned media not to cover the story
“Let me tell you what the TSA has been doing since March to keep us safer - nothing, but covering this all up,” Corbett said.
After his initial video of the incident was released, Corbett says the TSA began threatening mainstream media outlets against covering the story, adding that “several” media outlets reported that a TSA spokeswoman sent them a letter “strongly cautioning” them against sharing information that the agency was, in essence, violating basic civil rights by photographing travelers naked for what turns out to be no appreciable benefit.
Corbett said that a number of outlets ignored the TSA’s plea and ran with the story anyway. A quick Google search by NaturalNews found that among them were London’s Daily Mail, the New York Daily News and Australia’s News.com.
So far, Corbett, an engineer, has been able to slip metal objects undetected through the international airport at Cleveland and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. He went on to say that the TSA has informed both of those airports “to withhold security videos” which show him defeating the scanners and surveillance equipment. He went on to note that the TSA “frequently releases surveillance videos when it is in their interest.”
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Corbett explained how the loophole in the system works.
Metal object in specially sewn side pocket invisible
Producing several images produced by the TSA’s body scanners, Corbett said:
“You’ll see that the search victim is drawn with light colors and placed on a black background in both images. In these samples, the individuals are concealing metallic objects that you can see as a black shape on their light figure. Again that’s light figure, black background, and black threat items.”
But, he continued, “If you have a metallic object on your side, it will be the same color as the background and therefore completely invisible to both visual and automated inspection.”
Incredulous, he said, “It can’t possibly be that easy to beat the TSA’s billion dollar fleet of nude body scanners, right? The TSA can’t be that stupid, can they? Unfortunately, they can, and they are.”
In the surveillance videos, Corbett is seen passing through the scanners in both airports with a metal object slipped into a pocket that he sewed directly on the side of his shirt. He was able to get through the checkpoint without TSA agents – or the backscatter X-ray machine – discovering the contents of his side pocket.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
By: Ethan A. Huff
[NaturalNews] More corruption at the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has led to the federal conviction of a TSA training supervisor, the voluntary resignation of three TSA workers, and the firing of seven other TSA workers at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) in Pennsylvania. This major house-cleaning at the TSA comes after a seven-month investigation uncovered a huge bribery scandal in which TSA workers were paying off the training supervisor to obtain passing grades on their annual proficiency exams.
Apparently too inept to pass the basic exam on their own, the TSA workers in question allegedly caved to demands by Shannon Gilliam, 30, a former TSA training supervisor at PHL, that they pay her $1,000 each in exchange for passing test scores. After being outed, Gilliam was later taken to court where she pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from TSA workers, and was sentenced to six months of home detention, four years of probation, and 300 hours of community service as a result.
Three of the TSA workers involved in the scheme quit their positions at the agency not too long after the sentencing, and another seven TSA workers were notified by their superiors that they would soon be terminated as well. At the end of the day, PHL lost a whopping ten TSA workers and a TSA training supervisor as part of the debacle.
“There’s a TSA disaster every week, and the security meltdown gets more and more outrageous,” said Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) in response to the outrageous case. Rep. Mica, who was actually responsible for authoring the very legislation that created the TSA in the first place (http://www.theblaze.com), is now calling for the agency to be completely disbanded and replaced with a privatized security force.
“Everything they have done has been reactive,” Rep. Mica is quoted as saying by The Blaze. “They take shoes off because of [shoe-bomber] Richard Reid, passengers are patted down because of the diaper bomber, and you can’t pack liquids because the British uncovered a plot using liquids … It’s an agency that is always one step out of step.”
John Corbett, the engineer whose viral video exposed the TSA naked body scanner protocol as completely useless in detecting weapons (http://www.naturalnews.com), is continuing to push the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case against the agency. His suit alleges that TSA naked body scanners and pat downs are unconstitutional because they violate the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures (http://tsaoutofourpants.wordpress.com).