Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DA won’t prosecute fake TSA agent who groped women


Remember the guy who dressed up in a blue shirt, khaki pants, and blue gloves and impersonated a TSA agent in San Francisco last month? He succeeded in leading two victims into a curtained booth and groped at least one of them. Well, we don't know exactly what he did, since he was hidden. We only know that he got away with it, and that if he had been an actual TSA clerk, whatever he did, including sexual molestation, would've been legal. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Published, Later Removed by Times of Israel: "When Genocide Is Permissible"

This is an op-ed that was published by the Times of Israel on August 1, 2014. It was written by Yochanan Gordon. It was published with this title: "When Genocide Is Permissible."

Their title, not mine.

If that's not horrifying enough for you, you're so far gone there's no hope. For the rest of you out there not living in denial, read it and weep. The Times eventually took it down, but not before publishing it and not before lots of people got screen shots and archived it. Where the hell were the editors??

UPDATE: The editors have now published this apology.

Friday, August 1, 2014

R. I. P.


From the Middle East Children's Alliance:
The staff and board of the Middle East Children's Alliance would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to our colleague Dr. Mona El-Farra, her family, and all of the Palestinian families who have lost their relatives and loved ones.

Early this morning, Israeli tanks shelled a home in Khan Younis and killed nine members of Dr. Mona's family including 5 children. Ten more relatives are injured and five of them are in critical condition. 
We are saddened by the very personal loss of our friend and colleague, Dr. Mona El-Farra, and by the knowledge that her relatives were killed with the full support of our government. 

Rest in peace:
Abed Almalek Abed Al Salam El-Farra, 54 years
Osamah Abed Almalek El-Farra, 34 years
Awatef  A'ez Eldeen El-Farra, 29 years 
Emad El-Farra, 28 years
Mohamad Mahmoud El-Farra, 12 years
Nadeen Mahmoud El-Farra, 9 years
Yara Abed Al Salam El-Farra, 8 years (pictured above)
Abed Al Rahaman El-Farra, 8 years
Lujain Basem El-Farra, 4 years 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Actor Verne Troyer pawed by TSA


Since I was away for three weeks, I missed a lot of TSA stories. They didn't get reported at TSA News, either, so forgive me for being late to the party. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Gaza: We Are Responsible

Our great poet and national conscience, Chris Hedges:

. . . The unanimous U.S. Senate vote in support of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, the media’s slavish parroting of Israeli propaganda, and the Obama administration’s mindless repetition of pro-Israeli clichés have turned us into cheerleaders for Israeli war crimes. We fund and abet these crimes with $3.1 billion a year in military aid to Israel. We are responsible for the slaughter. No one in the establishment, including our most liberal senator, Bernie Sanders, dares defy the Israel lobby. And since we refuse to act to make peace and justice possible we should not wonder why the Palestinians carry out armed resistance.

The Palestinians will reject, as long as possible, any cease-fire that does not include a lifting of the Israeli blockade of Gaza. They have lost hope that foreign governments will save them. They know their fate rests in their own hands. The revolt in Gaza is an act of solidarity with the world outside its walls. It is an attempt to assert in the face of overwhelming odds and barbaric conditions the humanity and agency of the Palestinian people. There is little in life that Palestinians can choose, but they can choose how to die. And many Palestinians, especially young men trapped in overcrowded hovels where they have no work and little dignity, will risk immediate death to defy the slow, humiliating death of occupation.

I cannot blame them.

-Chris Hedges

Monday, July 28, 2014

Daniel Levy in the NYT on Gaza

This is Daniel Levy's op-ed in the New York Times on Gaza. It was published on July 22, 2014. I'm reprinting it in full, with emphasis mine (Levy's words that I have bolded):

Israeli Self-Defense Does Not Include the Right to Kill Civilians


Daniel Levy is the director of the Middle East and North Africa program at the European Council on Foreign Relations and a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation. He was a negotiator in Palestinian talks under Prime Ministers Rabin and Barak, and the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative. 
JULY 22, 2014 
Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005; now Hamas is firing rockets at civilians; Israel has the right to self defense – the endlessly repeated question is “well, what would you do under such circumstances?” 
To be clear, Hamas does carry responsibility for this situation – its targeting of Israeli civilians violates international law. The Hamas charter, its political platform, and its military activities all deserve to be condemned. But Israel’s share of the responsibility is far greater. That is a hard conclusion to draw but a necessary one if our understanding of events, our responses and policies are to improve. 

Gaza, by Mr. Fish


Once again, the superb Mr. Fish.

If you want to help the people in Gaza, ANERA is an excellent organization that is providing food, water, and medical care on the ground. Your money will go directly to the people who need it. Dr. Mads Gilbert is a Norwegian physician volunteering in Gaza who has been speaking out about the slaughter that's going on there:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Israeli Women on Facebook Promising Sex As Reward for More Killing

UPDATE BELOW.

I know the human race is fucked up. I know this. I get it. But every time you think you've seen it all, something comes along to show you that you haven't. And that you never will. Since the human imagination is limitless, human depravity likewise knows no bounds. 

This is from a Facebook page. Though I'm not a member of Facebook, I can still see the page

As background, Kim Jensen lives in Baltimore, coincidentally not far from me. She is married to a Palestinian man and they have two children. They sometimes visit their relatives, for which they must pass through Israel, where they have to jump through hoops and are usually treated like shit. Their son has been roughed up by Israeli authorities. I realize none of this is surprising to people who know what's going on over there; I'm just providing it as identifying info on Jensen, whose name you'll see in this excerpt. For those who may not know, IAF stands for Israeli Air Force: 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Partial kinda sorta victory for Shoshana Hebshi


We’ve written about Shoshana Hebshi twice here at TSA News and about the hideous, Kafka-esque injustice she suffered at the hands of the United States government, via our friendly abusers at the TSA, Frontier Airlines, and law enforcement, aka the police. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

United States of Rape


These rapes on college campuses happen so often they've become mind numbing. I used to get outraged almost beyond words, but by now I've become inured. 

It's the same shitty story, over and over, with the same shitty outcome: males, usually athletes or fraternity pigs, gang-rape a drunk girl, taking turns doing it and standing around watching and laughing as the next guy does it. In this day and age, we have the added brutality of picture-taking on cellphones and then the sharing of said pictures to futher humiliate the victim. And then, the school administration sides with the rapists -- usually so the criminals won't miss playing any of their precious football games, which, of course, mean so much in the grand scheme of things. Besides, the rapists are always "nice boys" from "good families."

After all, we all know about the "value" of sports

Then most of the school administrators and students -- women included -- blame the victim, ridicule and harass her on campus, if she has the fortitude to stay at the school (I wouldn't), and the cycle repeats, again and again, all over the country. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fake TSA clerk gropes women at SFO; but hey, no harm, no foul


Ah, I love waking up to stories like this! It's like living in absurdist theater, only the people running the theater are too stupid to see it for what it is. 

Ted Rall on Hawk Hillary


As always, click to enlarge. The great Ted Rall on Hillary Clinton, whom many people support simply because she's a woman. Let that sink in. The logic is: "She has breasts and a vagina; therefore, I'll vote for her." That's what millions of Democrats are thinking. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DHS Keeping A List, Checking It Twice


It's pretty common these days to have your resumé/curriculum vitae publicly available on a website. Most people use LinkedIn, which I can't abide (it plunders your private email account, sends invitations without your knowledge to everybody under the sun to "link" to you, pretends to get you jobs, and other things not worth going into), so I use a site called Brand Yourself instead. 

My profile there contains my resumé, the briefest of biographical info, and a contact link. It's also more visually appealing than LinkedIn, which, if you appreciate aesthetics, is a plus. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bigots: As Stupid As They Are Racist


"No illeagles here." "Illeagles." Yep. That's the wit and wisdom of racists on display in Westminster, Maryland. You can't make this shit up.
(Photo: Christian Alexandersen, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

United States of Depravity


In a perfect corollary to the entry I posted earlier today, we have the following story from the Washington Post. It's impossible to imagine the depravity of this country anymore. Reality surpasses the most sick, twisted thing you could ever come up with: 

"Jane Doe" Raped by CBP and Hospital Personnel Settles Part of Lawsuit



The case of a woman who was raped -- repeatedly -- by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and by medical personnel at the University Medical Center of El Paso has been partially settled.

I first wrote about the case here. Though this kind of thing goes on all the time at borders (and in prisons and detention centers), this particular case was so egregious that even the mainstream media reported on it. 

Jennifer Abel at Consumer Affairs on the TSA


Jennifer Abel is a freelance writer who's been an eloquent -- and scathing -- TSA critic for years.

She wrote many columns for the UK paper The Guardian, in the section called "Comment is Free," where she did yeoman's work trying to wake people up to what was going on in the U.S. And she took no end of shit for it from know-nothing readers who didn't want to believe what she was saying. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Be afraid, be very afraid! TSA (and its ilk) to the rescue!


Well, I'm finally back from three weeks away. Judging by the lack of posts at TSA News, the civil liberties watchdog site I run, I guess it was a quiet time on the TSA front. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Goober with a Grudge and a Gun #7,682 (or is it 8,276?)


Ho, hum, another day in the USA, another goober with a grudge gets a gun and shoots up a school. Who can keep up anymore? I've already lost count of how many of these have happened in the past week alone. It's almost every day now. Other countries look at us like we're insane. And they're right.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TSA Blog: the Energizer Bunny of the Blabbosphere


As regular readers here know, the TSA Blog, a.k.a. Propaganda Central, is the official on-line mouthpiece of the Transportation Security Administration. (There are, of course, lots of other, humanoid mouthpieces, as well.) 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

On the Avenue, Hon!


A beautiful, sleek, avocado-green 1961 Dodge (with a Chrysler front, according to the owner) on The Avenue in Hampden that had us gasping from a block away (click pic to enlarge).