Monday, December 30, 2013

Drone On

"Oh, why do they hate us?!" wail the idiot sheeple and American Exceptionalists every time you turn around.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Predictable: Pauley kills what Leon resurrected

Well, I was my usual fly-in-the-ointment self last week. While people were crowing over Judge Richard Leon's ruling in favor of We The People and against the NSA, I kept saying, "Don't get your hopes up. It's not going to last. It'll be appealed, and the next judge who comes down the pike will strike it down."

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Eat the Rich? (nah, not very nutritious)

As people assess their charitable giving in 2013, choosing which causes are most dear to them and also looking for a few tax breaks (as well they should, especially given that so much of our money goes to war and destruction), some recent research is sobering:

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Here's something I wrote 6 years ago, for a now-defunct blog. Of course, it rankled the p.c. folks no end. I'd like to hope they've grown up since then, but somehow I doubt it:
In addition to Papa Bear O'Reilly's inane "War on Christmas," there are other seasonal idiocies afoot. One is the taking-offense by certain wet blankets when someone wishes them a Merry Christmas. So if I may:

Ted Rall again on Dems & Repubs

Ted Rall encore. As always, click to enlarge.

Angela Merkel invokes the Stasi in comparison to the NSA

From the Guardian
In an angry exchange with Barack ObamaAngela Merkel has compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship in East Germany, where she grew up.
. . . Livid after learning from Der Spiegel magazine that the Americans were listening in to her personal mobile phone, Merkel confronted Obama with the accusation: "This is like the Stasi." 
But when the rest of us say it, we're accused of being "hyperbolic" and "lunatic."

The only lunatics out there are the naysayers who refuse to acknowledge what's right under their noses. To wit, that the U.S. is morphing more and more into a police state with every passing day. Especially if you're young and black, and just waiting for a bus. And the U.K. is no better. Its cops, too, like to Taser people just for the hell of it.

Ted Rall on Republicans and Democrats

Another great cartoon by Ted Rall. As always, click to enlarge.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

TSA propaganda cartoon aimed at children

“Stop. Screen. Go.”
Those are the magic words in a new TSA video cartoon aimed at children, called Prepare for Takeoff. It’s on a nifty page — “TSA Kids” — that’s part of the “Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security,” which also includes links to other fab TSA stuff, such as “Fun Page” and “Parents Page.”
As all propagandists know, you gotta get ‘em while they’re young.

Friday, December 20, 2013

TSA’s John Pistole shovels the shit yet again redux

The media are once again doing the TSA’s dirty work for it. Who needs PR flacks when you have newspapers, TV, radio, and the internet?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

In Pa, Alabama, and Texas, drivers pulled over, asked for blood and saliva

No, this isn't an April Fool's joke. No, it isn't a scene out of a dystopian novel. It's just another day in the good ol' USA.

In Alabama, in Texas, and now in Pennsylvania, drivers have been flagged down by police and told to pull over into a parking lot so that a survey company can "ask" them for blood and saliva.

What exactly are they "surveying"?


Monday, December 16, 2013

Media finally catch on to TSA pre-check scam

Some people in the media are finally catching on to what we here at TSA News have been saying for two years: Pre-Check is a joke. We’ve been pointing out the facts about this program from the beginning.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

DOJ backpedals on claim that Guantanamo searches are like TSA’s

This past summer, a U.S. judge issued a rare ruling on the side of justice and the rule of law. Then, just as quickly, his ruling was appealed by the Department of Justice (sic) and overturned.

Friday, December 13, 2013

59% of Americans want to arm the TSA

Proving once again that you can’t underestimate the stupidity of the American public, over half of citizens polled favor putting guns in the hands of TSA agents.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ryan-Murray budget deal would raise TSA fees

While half the country is up in arms over the Paul Ryan-Patty Murray budget deal in Congress — with both conservatives and liberals disliking it for their own reasons  I see a twinkling, nay glittering, silver lining.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

WTF: Cops Shoot at Unarmed Man, Hit 2 Bystanders, Charge Man with Assault

Another in our continuing series called WTF. When I first read the following headline, I was sure it had to be from The Onion. But it's not. It's real:

Another Person Abused in Cavity Search by U.S. Authorities

As I said here, and I quote, "that means there are more. Logic dictates that there have to be more."

I was right.

David Simon Nails It Again

I've written before about local and national treasure David Simon (click the tag "David Simon" anywhere on this blog or check out this link). He keeps ringing alarm bells, and people keep ignoring them. Well, lots of people, not all of us. But our overlords are certainly ignoring them.

Monday, December 9, 2013

TSA seizes terroristy sock monkey, confiscates “gun”

“Appalled and shocked and embarrassed”?
That’s one way of putting it.
That’s how Phyllis May of Redmond, Washingon described her reaction when the brainiacs of the TSA seized a little cloth sock puppet — sock monkey, to be exact — in her bag and discovered the monkey’s nefarious intent:

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Octopus Seal: Looks Like It's From The Onion, But It's Not

Another in our continuing series called WTF.

Really, you can't make this shit up. These people have no sense of themselves other than as characters in a science fiction novel. I don't have words for the levels of inanity, depravity, obliviousness, arrogance, unintentional revelation, and just plain immaturity this represents.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mandela Dies, Obama Lies

The news that Nelson Mandela has died is, of course, bringing forth a ton of speeches, tributes, and encomia from all over the world. Not surprising, most of it self-serving. Let's recall that Mandela was taken off the U.S.'s official list of "terrorists" only in 2008. And that the CIA outed his whereabouts to the South African apartheid regime in 1962.

The transcript of Obama's comments is particularly galling. I know this man lies through his teeth as smoothly as any snake oil salesman, but he outdid himself yesterday:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Daily Kos's Hypocrisy and Ted Rall's Capitulation


As you know, I'm a great admirer of political cartoonist Ted Rall. I've done many posts on him and his brilliant, scathing political cartoons (click the tag "Ted Rall"). Along with Mr. Fish, he's one of the most provocative and truthful cartoonists out there.

Which truthfulness and provocation, of course, makes them both ripe for attack.

And attack is what's happening to Rall right now, thanks to the hypocrites and Obamabots of Daily Kos.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hopscotch Crosswalk -- another in the continuing series of Why I Love Baltimore

I love my adopted hometown, for many reasons -- the architecture, the low cost of living, the lack of pretention, and yes, the much-vaunted and authentic quirkiness. Baltimore is full of characters -- John Waters didn't have to make anything up for those in his movies -- and I think it's one of our strengths.

So of course I flipped over this story about a Hopscotch Crosswalk downtown. It's just one of many artistic crosswalks being painted as we speak.

I wonder how many people will actually use it? I would. I will, next time I'm down there.

Luv ya, Charm City.

(Photo courtesy of Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts and the Baltimore Sun)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Glamour Girl: Motilo




Glamour Girl has just stumbled upon these amazing shoes—actually, “shoes” doesn’t do them justice—and she is about to lose her mind. Of course she can’t afford them, but she is dreaming and swooning and calculating numbers in her busy brain nonetheless. They are: 

TSA exit portals or detention pods? You decide

A few weeks ago I caught wind of another nifty whiz-bang airport innovation guaranteed to make your journey even more onerous than it already is. And of course, it’s brought to you by our trusty friends at the TSA.

Friday, November 29, 2013

You're Not Pro-Life, You're Pro-Forced-Reproduction

"The company heads bringing these claims want to have it both ways. By incorporating, owners and shareholders create separate entities and are not personally liable for their employees' salaries or health insurance costs – the entire point of incorporating is to create a legal entity separate from the individuals who created it. Yet these owners and shareholders want the court to consider their personal religious beliefs indistinguishable from those of the corporation, and allow those beliefs to dictate the kind of healthcare coverage their employees receive."

Read it and weep, Crispin Sartwell.

(Photograph: Richard Whelan/ Richard Whelan/Demotix/Corbis)

Tweets of Rage: Flying the Friendly Skies with Elan and Diane

OMG, I am laughing my ass off! 

Maybe some of you have seen this story by now, but my friend Marilyn just sent it to me and I couldn't resist passing it on.

A TV producer named Elan Gale has a wonderful, wicked sense of humor, which was called into play on Thanksgiving when he found himself on a plane with one of those obnoxious, entitled, narcissistic people we all know too well. But instead of just muttering under his breath or suffering in silence, he made a production out of it. (Well, that is his profession, after all.)

Black Friday

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

A friend just sent this to me and I had to pass it on. Thanks, Debbie!

"I'm no great cook. But I can follow the directions. Which said to let the bird chill in the sink for a few hours."


Friday, November 22, 2013

Psychopath of the Week

I think I'll start a new category: Psychopath of the Week. It's going to be hard to choose, I know, given that there are so many contenders. Particularly among the "leaders" of the political/business world. But soldier on we must in pursuit of a noble cause.

Monday, November 18, 2013



Lest you all forget, the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is Romneycare. It's the same program Romney instituted in Massachusetts when he was governor there. It's the same program. And it was written by the rightwing think tank The Heritage Foundation, to maximize corporate profit, not to provide decent health care. Would all those of you who now support the ACA have supported it if Romney were in the White House instead of Obama? 


Forget it -- we already know the answer.

Friday, November 15, 2013

TSA-style gropes at Coachella Music Festival

Another of my TSA News posts, originally published April 24, 2013:

As some of us have been saying for years, and taking no end of shit for it from know-nothing observers, it was only a matter of time before the tactics of the TSA moved from the airport to other venues. And now that day is here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WikiLeaks Releases TPP Text

This is huge. Huge.

I've been writing and talking about the TPP -- Trans-Pacific Partnership -- for over a year now, also participating in protest demonstrations against it. The TPP is, to use the words of activists Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, "NAFTA on steroids."

It's a so-called "free trade" pact that is, in fact and not hyperbole, a corporate coup. The TPP would give transnational corporations sovereignty over governments.

No, I am not exaggerating.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Another World Is Possible: Marinaleda

I've been reading about Marinaleda for some time. A small village in the south of Spain, about 60 miles east of Seville, Marinaleda is a cooperative. A commune, a utopia, a socialist success story -- take your pick of terminology. The point is that it is a thriving community where everyone has a job, a home, a place in life. Poverty has been banished. There is no police force.

Yes, this place exists.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

2nd Man Comes Forward in New Mexico, re Forced Cavity Search

So that means there are more. Logic dictates that there have to be more.

As I wrote this morning, David Eckert is suing the police in Deming, New Mexico, because they forced him to undergo multiple -- 8 -- cavity searches, not only fingers probing his rectum, but also forced enemas and even forced sedation and a forced colonoscopy.

Since this story broke, another man in New Mexico has come forward reporting that he was also forced to undergo similar invasive searches, also for a similar trivial traffic infraction -- failing to use his turn signal.

Rolling Stone: The A-Team Killings -- Torture and Murder in Afghanistan

Rolling Stone has just published a blockbuster article detailing war crimes by American forces in Afghanistan. It's called The A-Team Killings.

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now! interviewed the author of the article, Matthieu Aikins. In this clip, the first clip, he talks about how the article came about.

In this clip, we see Afghans and Westerners who appear to be Americans torturing a bound prisoner. Yes, it's gruesome. No, there are no thumb screws or cattle prods involved. Torture comes in many forms, not all of them involving medieval devices.

There's also a brief clip of Secretary of State John Kerry in convoluted bureaucrat-speak. In fact, I couldn't even understand what he was saying until Gonzalez and Aikins explained it. Kerry was saying that on the one hand the U.S. respected the Afghan system of justice, the loya jirga, but on the other hand it wouldn't subject any of its forces to that system of justice. Why? Because they and he know that U.S. soldiers have committed war crimes. And they want legal immunity for those crimes.

Cops & Docs Force Anal Cavity Searches on Man After Traffic Stop

This country is a police state. This country is a police state. Only in a police state could cops -- colluding with medical doctors, no less -- force 8 -- 8 -- anal cavity searches on a man after a minor traffic stop.

No, I am not making this up, for all you clueless naysayers out there who have your heads in the sand (or somewhere else -- but no worries; the cops will help you find it so you can get it back).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"DHS Stupidity Mugs" A Crime Against Empire

Really, you can't make this shit up. Every day, actual news in the U.S. reads like something from The Onion. Only it's not from The Onion; it's real. And it's now become typical. Typical police-state stuff. (Oops -- there I go again, using the dreaded "p" word!)

Another Goober with a Grudge Shoots Up A Mall

We wake up this morning in the US to find that -- surprise, surprise -- yet another of America's finest has gone on a rampage with a gun. Luckily, this time, he didn't kill anyone but himself. And the police reaction was also, as usual, extreme. Then again, they probably had visions of Kenya in their heads.

This time it was at a shopping mall in New Jersey. The gunman walked through the mall -- "strutted," some witnesses said -- firing his gun. He moved through several areas of the mall, with people scrambling to get away, then ended up in a deserted area where he shot himself. Some authorities say he was looking for a particular someone to shoot first but didn't find that person. Who knows? Details are still coming out.

Another witness, who had been hiding in a locked storeroom with other people for two hours, was scared shitless to come out because he was afraid the police would shoot him. A reasonable fear.

One thing's for sure: if the gunman's name were something "Middle-Eastern-sounding" instead of Richard R. Shoop, the headlines this morning would be screaming "terrorism."

(Photo: AP)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Yet More Evidence That the U.S. Tortures With Impunity

As I've written so many times, most recently in this post on October 30th, the U.S. has embraced torture. The U.S. cannot pretend to stand for the rule of law or continue to spout platitudes about "democracy," "freedom," and, most gag-inducing, "American values."

And today's news bears that out.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

“I wish you had taken a less confrontational view of the TSA”

Of course, I was waiting for this.
Paul Ciancia is a mentally disturbed man. Just like Jared Loughner. Just like Adam Lanza. Just like James Holmes. Just like the Virginia Tech guy. Just like the Navy Yard shooter. Just like all the other ones whose names I can't remember in the long, bloody slog of mass shootings in this country.
I categorically reject the notion that criticizing the TSA had anything whatsoever to do with "inciting" a mentally ill man to commit this crime. If the TSA didn't exist, Ciancia would've found another reason.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Shots fired at LAX — where’s the TSA?

Gee, I guess all the groping can't prevent this. Quelle surprise.

From the New York Times:
LOS ANGELES — A shooting at Los Angeles International Airport led to the evacuation of at least one terminal on Friday, the authorities said. Flights have been grounded and passengers have not been allowed to get off airplanes that have landed, the airport said.

David Simon on American Empire

Baltimore -- and national -- treasure David Simon has done a lot of speaking on the ills that afflict this country and the dark path we're treading. I can't say with authority that his views are sought out more by the foreign press than our own here at home, but it sure seems that way. The Wire, after all, one of the most brilliant series in television history, was repeatedly dissed by the Emmys, while it was devoured by audiences and lauded to the skies in the U.K.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Court Rules Once Again that Torture is A-OK in the USA

Because the U.S. has turned into a country that tortures people with impunity -- and brags about it -- the news that a federal appeals court has ruled against a "detainee," an "enemy combatant," comes as no surprise.

Courts are a reflection of the society in which they exist. They're not on Mount Olympus. And the courts since 9/11 especially have repeatedly sided with the government and against civil liberties and plain old ordinary justice.

Justice, you scoff, ha! What does justice have to do with anything?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tom Tomorrow

Brilliant cartoon by Tom TomorrowClick to enlarge. The last frame is frigging hilarious! (And if you don't know who he's talking about there, try this.)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Andy Singer: Drones and Guns, Fear and Loathing in America

Cartoonist Andy Singer. As always, click to enlarge.

Armed cops raid home of American reporter, seize files

Armed agents bashing down your door before dawn, while you're still asleep in bed or in the shower or on the toilet, pointing guns at you and screaming, scaring the shit out of you and your children, and often, one of their favorites, shooting your family pet? And sometimes, for good measure, raiding the wrong house?

Where does this happen? And how often?

In the USA. Every day. Over 100 times every day.

Don't believe it? Then you don't know what's going on in your own country. Maybe you should watch something other than American Idol or Homeland or MSFuckingNBC and read something more than just emails from MoveOn or your Fearless Leader who sits in the White House.

These raids happen in this country every day. (I know, I know, but it's usually "just" drug dealers or "terrorists," so you don't give a shit.) Even though it's false that it happens to "just" drug dealers or terrorists. Because it happened to computer analyst Thomas Drake. It happened to Cheye Calvo, mayor of a small town in Maryland. It happened to dozens of non-violent peace activists. I could keep listing people, but at over 100 a day, every day, I'd run out of bandwidth.

So it should come as no surprise that the latest home invasion by our fascist overlords -- and yes, that's precisely what they are -- took place at the house of a journalist. An ordinary American journalist.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

R.I.P. Lou Reed

Lou Reed dies at the age of 71.

Look at these beautiful words by John Cale:
Unlike so many with similar stories—we have the best of our fury laid out on vinyl, for the world to catch a glimpse. 
And here's an elegant tribute by the BBC