Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Satirist Jonathan Pie Skewers the News Media

Watch this hilarious send-up of a supposedly straight news report. The comedian is Tom Walker of the UK; his alter ego is "Jonathan Pie." Absolutely brilliant. No surprise that this video has gone viral.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Trump - Clinton - What's the Difference?

The Clintons at Donald Trump's wedding. If you don't see that the ruling class is the ruling class in this country, regardless of party affiliation, you have your head in the sand.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

TSA to force people through scanners

As many people have discovered from the latest news, the Department of Homeland Security has suddenly decreed publicly what anyone with reasonable observational skills knows they've been planning from the get-go:  that the TSA will, at whim, force passengers through the strip-search scanners.repeat that this has been the plan from the beginning. I said so at a now-defunct group blog where I used to write called Cogitamus, long before TSA News existed. Those who made predictions to the contrary have been proven wrong. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson Slams U.S. Empire

If this video doesn't knock you on your ass, I don't know what will. 

Let me rephrase that -- many of the people watching this video already get it. But to see and hear a retired U.S. Army colonel, former National Security Advisor in the Reagan administration, former advisor to Colin Powell, dyed-in-the-wool Republican, saying this stuff, pointing out that the emperor is wearing no clothes, that, as he puts it, "this ship is sinking" -- well, I'd like to say it should make an impression on all the naysayers. But in fact I know it won't. 

They'll find a way to discredit him just as much as they discredit people such as Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky. I know it won't make a dent. I'm posting it anyway. I hope people will share it.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Baltimore: Mistrial, Hung Jury in First Freddie Gray Case Trial

As everyone knows by now, a hung jury led Judge Barry Williams to declare a mistrial in the case of Officer William Porter, the first police officer of six to be tried in the Freddie Gray case.

Despite the slavering of the mainstream media for violence, there wasn't any. Neither was there a hint of it, anywhere in Baltimore, over this development. That didn't stop so-called reporters and news hosts from implying that violence was ready to break out at any minute. There was a small -- very small -- number of protesters downtown. And an overwhelming police presence. (I wasn't there, as I saw no need to protest. A mistrial is a mistrial. It's a fool's errand to try to read too much into it.) 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Land of Lunatics

I know I keep saying it, but you can't make this shit up. Once upon a time, this story would've been parody. Fodder for Saturday Night Live, The Onion, The Daily Show, any number of comedians. But you can't do parody anymore. Reality has surpassed it.

To wit: 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Yet Another Active Shooter(s) -- the Fuckupedness of the USA Continues

How can we not be simultaneously horrified and bored by yet another active shooter/shooters, this time in San Bernardino, California? I'm writing this on Wednesday, December 2, 2015, at 2:55pm EST, as this thing is unfolding. At least 12 victims so far.

These so-called "active shooter" situations now average 16 a year in the U.S., according to the Secret Service -- that's more than one a month -- though we just had one last week in Colorado Springs and another one only a few weeks before that in the same town.

But hey, gotta have our guns! After all, this is the USA!

The abject fuckupedness of this country continues. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Another court order the TSA will ignore

Everyone keeps sending me links to this story, but I saw it when it first came out last week and decided not to write about it because it isn't news. It's the same old same old. I can't see how it means anything significant in our fight against the TSA.

John Whitehead's Rutherford Institute, which fights for civil liberties, touted the story in an email last week headlined, "Victory!" I'm on their mailing list, so I saw the message as soon as it came in. When I read the text, any initial frisson of triumph immediately fizzled. Victory? Really? 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Another Man on a Rampage, Another Day in the USA

Yawn. Really, how can one greet these events anymore with anything other? They're so common. They're as deeply a part of American culture as baseball, Mom, and apple pie.

This is an image of an actual ad. It has not been Photoshopped. Because Bushmaster, you see, is proud of this. Irony is dead in this country. Satire is dead. Anything you could make up has already been surpassed by reality. Archie Bunker's famous exhortation on the brilliant TV sitcom "All in the Family" over 40 years ago was understood by the audience then for what it was. Today, it's being taken seriously. Archie's illogical, lunatic, yet insuperably sincere sentiments are being posted, in all seriousness, all over the blabbosphere. 

In short, the answer to so many killings and so many guns is -- 

more guns! 

Just ask Bushmaster. Of course, the word "man" should be replaced by the word "dick," but minor quibble:

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2015 Airport Security Symposium – UPDATED

UPDATE: Open to the public, pay what you can. Doug says he realizes the $199 conference fee is out of reach for a lot of people.
Douglas Kidd of the National Association of Airline Passengers has organized this Airport Security Symposium for Tuesday, October 6, 2015, at Reagan National Airport just outside Washington, D.C. He’s lined up plenty of speakers, including Alaska state rep and TSA critic Sharon Cissna, consumer advocate and friend of the blog Charlie Leocha, one-man investigative research team Jonathan Corbett, security expert extraordinaire Bruce Schneier, and several of us who write for TSA News — Sommer Gentry, Wendy Thomson, and me. 

USA, Land of the Free

USA, Land of the Free. Uh-huh.

Young Black Man Jailed Since April for Alleged $5 Theft Is Found Dead in Cell

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Your Cat Delivery Service

Because why should UPS, DHL, FedEx, and the USPS have all the fun?

(H/T to litbrit)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Please sign this fab TSA petition

Come on, folks, let's get this up to at least 150 signatures. If we do, it'll go live on the main White House petition site. It was written by our perennially creative contributor Chris Bray.

You may recall that we've tried petitions in the past, including one that went nowhere thanks in no small part to the fact that the White House's site went down for several hours and they didn't extend the petition-signing time to account for that. In other words, we got shortchanged.

Let's not let that happen again. This time, the petition is a brilliant satire of the TSA's behavior, especially the recent case of TSA supervisor Maxie Oquendo sexually assaulting a young woman at La Guardia Airport under color of authority.

Come on, let's make this happen! I know most people don't give a shit about this issue in general (believe me, I know it), but you can at least have a little fun with it. Sign the petition hereAnd then repost, tweet, disseminate however you like far and wide.

Friday, August 28, 2015

LaGuardia TSA agent arrested for sexual assault

UPDATED BELOW. A TSA agent at LaGuardia Airport in New York has been arrested for sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman. The only reason he was arrested was because he molested her in a bathroom. If he had followed standard operating procedure, he would've molested her at the checkpoint, where it's usually done. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Morrissey alleges sexual assault by TSA

British indie rock musician Stephen Patrick Morrissey -- better known simply as Morrissey -- became well known in the 1980s with his band The Smiths. He's now 56 years old. And yesterday he filed a complaint against the TSA for sexual assault.

Welcome to the club, Morrissey. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

TSA: "Careful what you say. You don't like this? You respect this badge right here."

Well, well, well, shock of shocks, we have yet another of our fine, upstanding blue-shirted civil servants who don't know their own rules. Or who pretend not to. 

As we've pointed out, with evidence, dozens of times: yes, you are allowed to videotape, film, photograph, audio-record, or sketch the TSA in action, including while they're doing their "pat-downs." It says so on the TSA's own website:
TSA does not prohibit the public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping or filming at security checkpoints, as long as the screening process is not interfered with or slowed down.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Another day, another passenger screwed by the TSA

Almost every day I receive emails from people telling me about their TSA experiences. They often wonder if they could have prevented the abuse meted out to them by dressing differently, talking differently, acting differently, flying out of a different airport, you name it. As I always tell them, no. You have no power over how the TSA treats you. The TSA has absolute power. Whether a TSA agent woke up on the wrong side of the bed one morning or is simply being sadistic, it has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with them. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

"Awesome" Idiocy, or A Compendium of Synonyms for the Linguistically Challenged

Enough already with "awesome"! If I hear one more person use this goddamn word, I'm going to kill them (note to NSA/DHS goons: that statement is what's known as hyperbole; it's a perfectly respectable rhetorical device. It doesn't mean I actually want to kill anyone).

Not only millennials, who are the greatest sinners here, but even 50-somethings and 60-somethings are going around frothing at the mouth with "awesome!" I can't take it anymore. I would say I'm going to scream, but I've already been doing that, in spades. Fine people who are otherwise perfectly lovely are, apparently, so bereft of vocabulary that they can't think of any other way to describe something they like other than by saying, "Awesome!" 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

TSA snoops in passenger’s bag, finds money, calls DEA to take it

From the Washington Post comes this story of not only another instance of TSA abuse, but the TSA's bragging about said abuse.

The headline reads: "Why the TSA posted a photo of a passenger's cash-filled luggage on Twitter." And the TSA tweeter in question is none other than PR flack Lisa Farbstein, about whom we've written so many times before. From the Post: 
. . . The photo, from the Richmond airport, shows a passenger's luggage containing $75,000 in cash. Farbstein asks, "Is this how you'd transport it?" Most people would not, but there is nothing illegal about simply checking a bag containing $75,000, or carrying it with you on the plane. Passengers aren't under any obligation to report large sums of cash unless they're traveling internationally, though the TSA recommends that passengers consider asking for a private screening.

Monday, June 29, 2015

TSA Idiocy and Abuse: Too Much To Keep Track Of

Twitter is alive with testimony from people witnessing TSA idiocy and abuse. But then such tweets have been going on for years — there used to be a whole Twitter feed devoted to them, tens of thousands of them — 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Just Another Day in Police State USA!

For those of you who still don't get it (not that you ever will), here are 3 more examples of how this country has morphed into a police state. (Oops -- guess I'd better watch out -- I might be subpoenad and gag-ordered like the poeple in the first story were, especially since I write under my own name all over the blabbosphere and have written publicly, many times, that I wish I believed in Hell so I could hope certain people, such as John Pistole and Dick Cheney, would rot there.) Land of the Free my ass. For your delectation:

How the Feds Asked Me to Rat Out Commenters, the website I edit, was recently commanded by the feds to provide information on a few commenters and not discuss it. Here’s why we’re speaking out.
by Nick Gillespie

Is there anything more likely to make you shit your pants out of a mix of fear and anger than getting a federal subpoena out of the blue?
Well, yes, there is: getting a gag order that prohibits you from speaking publicly about that subpoena and even the gag order itself. Talk about feeling isolated and cast adrift in the home of the free. You can’t even respond honestly when someone asks, “Are you under a court order not to speak?" . . . .

Pentagon rewrites ‘Law of War’ declaring ‘belligerent’ journalists as legitimate targets


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

United States of Orwell

We live in an Orwellian, Kafkaesque, Atwoodian police state. Those authors have nothing on us, because you can't make this shit up:
Murder charge for woman who took abortion pill
OK, the charges were suddenly dropped today, but she still spent 3 days in jail for it. AND she still faces charges of "possession of a dangerous drug." Because, dontchya know, the morning-after pill is a "dangerous drug."

This country is so fucked up.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Re TSA, WillCAD from FlyerTalk tells it like it is

I wish I knew this person's real name to give him credit for this comment he posted at the chat forum FlyerTalk (FT). In it, he hits every nail on the head in a discussion with another FT member about the TSA. All I know is that he goes by "WillCAD" and says he hails from Charm City. Here's his FT handle: 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

We Live In A Fucking Police State

We live in a fucking police state. I don't care if you don't get it, I don't care if you're too dense to see what's going on around you, I don't care if you're in denial. Your thickheadedness doesn't change the facts.

I will repeat, for the umpteenth time: A police state doesn't exist only when everyone is arrested; a police state exists when everyone CAN be arrested. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Baltimore, Violence, and the Wages of "Revolution"

Front page story in today's Baltimore Sun: 
A mom, a disabled son, and a home that blazed amid Baltimore's riots
It begins:
Black soot covers the two-story house like a dark shadow. The roof has collapsed, and a bright red sign proclaims the home has been condemned.
Until a few weeks ago, when the riots roiled Baltimore, this house at Hilton Street and Piedmont Avenue was home for Laporsha Lawson and her severely disabled son, Khai'Lee Sampson. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Give to TSA Watch

The fundraising drive at TSA Watch has been stuck at $6,921 for weeks. The TSA is sexually assaulting people at airports in this country every day. We and many other organizations have been documenting it for years. I don't know what else people need to know in order to care.

Oh, wait a minute -- for some people, getting robbed is more serious than getting sexually assaulted. Okay, fine. The TSA is robbing people at airports in this country every day. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Judicial Watch finally gets answers in TSA sexual assault lawsuit

Last August I wrote a post reporting that the non-profit civil liberties organization Judicial Watch was suing the TSA to gain access to documents outlining the sexual abuse of travelers at the hands of TSA workers. I said that Judicial Watch was joining a long line of of other organizations and individual people who had also tried to sue the TSA to get information, and that the TSA, predictably, had stonewalled.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Chris Hedges: The Wages of Rebellion Part 2

There are so many videos on YouTube of speeches by the great Chris Hedges. You can have a field day watching them. I feel honored that I've met Hedges and broken bread with him several times. He is one of the most upstanding, virtuous people I have ever met. He is a poet, a philosopher, a visionary, a historian, a Cassandra for our age. 

His books are as infuriating as they are inspiring. And if you don't read his weekly column at Truthdig or Nation of Change or Truthout -- well, put the frigging New York Times and Washington Post aside once in a while and read somebody with integrity, somebody who doesn't suck up to power, who is unafraid to tell the unvarnished truth. If you have time to read a mainstream newspaper or watch network TV, you have time to read Hedges. The following quote comes about 3:30 into the clip:
"How do you revolt?
". . . I want people to understand when you seriously revolt what the state does to you.
". . . revolt itself is a moral imperative. That asking the question as to whether it can succeed is the wrong question. Revolt is not finally about what we achieve . . . revolt is about what we become. 
". . . I don't fight fascists because finally I believe that I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists."

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Citizens, Not Subjects, by Chelsea Manning

Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning in The Guardian. Of course we have to go to a UK paper to read this, since the press in the US is too busy with baseball season, deflated footballs, and hawk Hillary.

. . . The government argued that there was no distinction to be made between any media organizations that provided information to the public, if the government felt would “aid” the enemy: whether such information was published by a small-time blog, a controversial website like Wikileaks, a national newspaper like the Washington Post, or an international one like the Guardian, to the government, they can all be “aiding the enemy.”
After 9/11, a dedicated office of lawyers specializing in novel applications of law for national security issues, the National Security Division (NSD), was created; and now, with a small caseload and an enormous amount of resources, this division of the Department of Justice has been waging a quiet war against the media, their sources, and the right to free speech and a free press, using the growing national security and surveillance apparatus to prosecute various cases and, occasionally, target the media.
Consider the Department of Justice’s admission in May 2013 that they had secretly seized sensitive office, home, and cellular telephone records from more than 20 reporters working for the Associated Press while investigating a leak leading to a 2012 AP news story reporting on an operation foiling a terrorist plot. The president of the AP, Gary Pruitt, called the actions a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” and noted that the government’s actions were creating a profound chilling effect on sources and members of the press. The president personally defended the actions of the Department of Justice, saying: “I make no apologies.” 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Baltimore Helping Baltimore

. . . In Pigtown, where looters struck at least four businesses, an online fundraiser raised more than $1,300 in four days, and a spring cleanup last weekend — which typically has a turnout of about a dozen people — drew more than 100 volunteers, said Ben Hyman, executive director of Pigtown Main Street. The four businesses affected in his organization's domain have all reopened, he said.
"The support for me was so overwhelming I couldn't believe it," said Fennoy, who opened the restaurant in 2007. "I just wish all areas would lend helping hands like those that have lent helping hands to me."
This is what Baltimore does. This is what any city would do. Neighbors helping neighbors. I'm not surprised CVS is rebuilding here. 
Needless to say, those who advocate burning, looting, and rioting, whether in person or in hiding behind their computer screens, aren't the ones coming out to help clean up and rebuild. Gee, I'm shocked.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Baltimore: Criminal Charges Filed Against All 6 Officers

State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby is bringing criminal charges against all 6 officers, including one charge of "Depraved Heart Murder" against one officer, Caesar Goodson. The other officers charged with a variety of criminal offenses are: Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White, Ofc. William Porter, Offc. Garrett Miller, Ofc. Edward Nero. Charges include assault, misconduct in office, false imprisonment, and others.

Mosby took a lot of heat when she was elected Baltimore City State's Attorney, because of her youth and relative inexperience. There was a lot of carping in legal circles. Well, she certainly gave a straightforward, no-nonsense, kick-ass press conference. She also emphasized that this is an on-going investigation, and that she expects everyone to cool it (my words, not hers) and not engage in any nonsense, that the procedure requires peace and time and peace. And did I mention peace? No violence.

WBAL-TV reporter Jayne Miller, who has done such a great job (she's a very experienced reporter) during this whole time, stressed "an enormous development in this case," the fact that the arrest of Freddie Gray was illegal from the get-go. There was no probable cause to arrest Freddie Gray. 

Looters of America

It was a calm day and night in Charm City yesterday. That doesn't mean there were no protests -- there were. Good, disciplined, strong protests. But there was no repeat of this past Monday night with burnings and lootings and violence and mayhem. The National Guard is still here, and the curfew is still in effect, though many businesses, especially bars and restaurants have appealed to the city to lift the curfew. So far, that's not happening. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has said that she's not averse to lifting it early if conditions warrant it. Meanwhile, there's plenty of looting going on elsewhere: 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

More Ways You Can Help Baltimore

St. Peter Claver /St. Pius V church on N. Freemont Ave. as food is gathered to be given out to people in the Sandtown community of West Baltimore. Photo by Lloyd Fox/The Baltimore Sun.

First of all, another shout-out to the reporters and photographers of the Baltimore Sun, who have been doing such an impressive job of covering the protests and riots (two different things, by the way). Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was going to send you a bouquet of flowers but decided a better use of that money is for some of the worthy groups/causes outlined in these two articles -- I hope other people will be encouraged to donate as well:

How to help: donation and volunteer opportunities in the aftermath of riots

Heaps of donations for first responders, residents affected by riots

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You Can Help Baltimore Neighborhoods

The state's Department of Human Resources set up a hotline for people in Baltimore needing help with food, emergency assistance, or concerns for children or the elderly. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dancing, Singing, Chanting, Drumming PEACEFUL Protests in Baltimore Now

(Photo by Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun) 

I'm writing this on Tuesday, April 28th, at 7:45 pm (and yes, I know the night is young, and things could still change). There are several huge, celebratory, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-age, peaceful protests going on in Baltimore now. Singing, dancing, chanting, drumming, chess-playing, roller-skating, voter registration, and those great, vibrant, colorful, gotta-see-em-to-believe-em proud black marching bands. And signs with Freddie Gray's face, and chants of "Black Lives Matter! White Lives Matter! Brown Lives Matter! All Lives Matter!"

From the Baltimore Sun's excellent, indispensable Livefeed -- thank you, Sun reporters! -- check it out: 

Quit Telling Us To Burn Down Baltimore

Large group of volunteers cleaning up burnt CVS in Baltimore, Photo by J Jouvenal, Baltimore Sun (click to enlarge)

I live in Baltimore. I was one block away from Mondawmin Mall at 3:30 yesterday. I live three blocks from the mayhem that ensued on Greenmount Avenue last night. I know what political activism is. I applaud the peaceful, non-violent protesters and demonstrators in this city, who have been extraordinarily disciplined while still being active. They were active Saturday night. They personally stopped attempted destruction Saturday night. 

The rioters yesterday are not "protesters" or "demonstrators." They are opportunistic jerks who are brutalizing the very neighborhoods that are already routinely brutalized by the police. They are burning and looting the very stores where their parents and neighbors work, and on which they depend for everyday needs. They are handing the racist, authoritarian power structure in this country a gift on a silver platter. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

But rioting and opportunistic fuckery ARE going on today

Riots are, however, going on today. I was, by happenstance, one block from one of the worst hotspots. I made it home fine.

It should be needless to say that I don't excuse or condone any of this stupid, brutal, counterproductive, opportunistic violence by a bunch of wankers who are only hurting themselves and their own communities. Just as I don't excuse or condone police brutality. 

Hello?? There were no riots in Baltimore on Saturday night!

OK, I have to write this, since so many people from elsewhere in the country have gotten in touch with me to ask if I'm all right.

Dear god, yes. Yes!

The media has blown this completely out of proportion. Repeat after me: THERE WERE NO RIOTS IN BALTIMORE ON SATURDAY NIGHT! (Saturday, April 25, 2015)

Friday, April 24, 2015

STOP FAST TRACK -- the TPP Is A Disaster

Obama, as usual, is selling us out. When will people wake the fuck up and realize he's no better than Bush?? The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a global disaster, and he's trying to shove it down our throats -- with the full support of Republicans and plenty of Democrats, for those of you Dems who still don't get it. And one of the worst provisions, essentially outlawing the BDS movement, was written by Maryland's own Sen. Ben Cardin. Call, email, write, and call, call, call your Congressional reps. Click StopFastTrack.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Shoshana Hebshi settles lawsuit against TSA, Frontier Airlines

Shoshana Hebshi, the Ohio woman who was handcuffed, hauled off a plane at gunpoint, and strip-searched in a jail cell -- all without probable cause -- has settled her lawsuit against the TSA, Frontier Airlines, and other government agencies. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

TSA rigged system to grope men’s genitals

From KCNC, the CBS affiliate in Denver, comes this completely unsurprising "news": TSA clerks at Denver International Airport deliberately messed with the strip-search scanners to alarm on attractive male passengers so one of the blue-shirted goons could grope them.

No, Virginia, say it ain't so! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Terroristy breast milk strikes again! UK & US equal in stupidity

Because, as we've reported before, the UK is just as fearmongering and civil-liberties-violating as the US, and is in many ways the lapdog of the US, it should come as no surprise that our brethren across the pond have adopted the worst practices of the TSA.

It used to be that you could fly in/from Europe without being mauled and abused by "security" at the airport. No longer. (And yes, I'm burying the lede.) 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Older Woman Tells Off Younger Women at The Guardian

This is so fab. From the comments section of an article at The Guardian. Older woman telling off younger women:
profetic 10 Jun 2012 17:27
SICK, SICK, SICK of the patronising of those of us deemed too 'elderly'. Lay off us please and retreat to an area in which we may be able to give you internet guidelines on how to suck eggs, or will forward that instruction to your iphone or ipad. 
Listen - many of us, possibly most of us, don't fit in to your meeja fixations on naming us as 'elderly' and thereby squeezing us into some kind of youtubeism of 'poor souls' and 'thank God we're not at that point yet' and 'they're as needy as teenagers and in need of serious help' or 'they're all demented'.  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Redditor finally discovers the TSA is abusive

From a thread started at Reddit by someone who is just now discovering that the TSA is abusive. Duh. Sorry, patience is admittedly not one of my virtues, but I really can't take it anymore -- not only the surprise exhibited by people who seem to have been living under a rock for the past, oh, six years, but worse, those who deny, deny, deny what's right in front of their faces.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Leaked doc proves what we’ve been saying for years: TSA is nuts

Everyone's been sending me the article from First Look/The Intercept about the latest "confidential" TSA document. 

Though I'm a huge supporter of Glenn Greenwald and his journalistic endeavors -- and have written so here -- and am glad for any light that is shed on the TSA's myriad abuses, I have to say this latest article is a bit on the day-late-dollar-short side.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Slobification of America

YES!! Sing it! And it comes from Fran Lebowitz, of all people:
I have to say that one of the biggest changes in my lifetime, is the phenomenon of men wearing shorts. Men never wore shorts when I was young. There are few things I would rather see less, to tell you the truth. I'd just as soon see someone coming toward me with a hand grenade. This is one of the worst changes, by far. It's disgusting. To have to sit next to grown men on the subway in the summer, and they're wearing shorts? It's repulsive. They look ridiculous, like children, and I can't take them seriously. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

TSA clears known felon for pre-check

Ha ha ha ha! Don't you just love it when someone -- or in this case something -- gets hoist on its own petard? Not that it matters, of course; rarely does. People and organizations whose stupidity, hypocrisy, and incompetence are laid bare for all to see rarely change their ways. On the contrary, they double down. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

STOP THE PRESSES: Football player exhibits functioning brain

Wow, a football player with a functioning brain. Amazing! 
Chris Borland On His Decision To Retire
49ers linebacker Chris Borland speaks to Mark Fainaru-Wada about his decision to retire from the NFL over concerns about the effects of head trauma
Of course, those of us who've been pointing out the brutality of this sport for, oh, 40 years, have always been told we don't know what we're talking about. But such is life in the USA, where bloodsport of various kinds is all the rage.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Blogger on the blink, won't update pages, Master List

UPDATE: I've started a Page 2 of the Master List since Blogger won't accept an update. Click both tabs above, the original, fully titled one, and also Page 2.

Blogger, the blogging platform here and for all "" sites (owned by Google), is often messed up and won't allow updates to existing pages. Since I maintain the Master List of TSA Crimes and Abuses, I try to update it regularly. But here it is March 2015 and Blogger hasn't allowed an update since January 2015. Every time I add another incident to the list and hit "Update," nothing happens. Over and over and over and over again. Here's the message I always get:
An error occurred while trying to save or publish your post. Please try again.
By perusing on-line help forums, I see that this is a common problem with Blogger. It sucks, but there's nothing I can do. If it won't update, it won't update.

Technology is great when it works, but a total pain in the ass when it doesn't. 

You'll have to click any TSA post or the label "TSA" listed at the righthand side of this page to see TSA-related posts, including the most recent incidents, which, as I said, Blogger won't allow me to add to the Master List.

Oh, and yes, I clear my cache constantly, almost obsessively, so it's not that.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Winter Is the Season of Shit

"Now is the winter of our discontent."

You're goddamn right it is. 

All of you who love winter, who love single-digit temperatures and 40mph winds and foot-high stacks of snow and freezing rain and thin veneers of treacherous ice -- you all need your heads examined. Get thee to a shrinkery.

And yeah, I know the Shakespeare fragment isn't complete and isn't about actual winter. I get it.

Winter is barbaric and those who love it barbarians. I'll stick with the civilized, thank you very much. Cannot wait for this season of shit to end.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Brought to you by the Nobel Peace Prize Prez:
Kerry Makes It Clear: Obama Wants Authority to Deploy Ground Troops in Iraq and Syria   
by Sarah Lazare
"The 2001 AUMF has been stretched well beyond what Congress intended, and there is no reason to believe the 2015 AUMF will not as well." —Marjorie Cohn, Thomas Jefferson School of Law. 
But, as usual, for know-nothing Democrats -- as bad as the know-nothing Republicans they love to decry -- Obama can do no wrong.

I used to say, back when Bush was president, that, for the Republican faithful, he would have to personally go up in a plane, bomb American cities, deny it, and still his supporters wouldn't shake their faith in him. They would find a way to make excuses. Well, the same is true for party Democrats now. 

The overwhelming sentiment of voters in this country is: "It's all okay, as long as my guy is doing it." 

And then we have the spectacle of former anti-war activist John Kerry leading the charge! The hypocrisy of this country is off the charts.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

More TSA Crime - Blogger not updating, so Master List continues here

Blogger is still messed up, so I can't update the Master List of TSA Crimes and Abuses (see tab at top of page). I've tried dozens of times over the past couple of weeks, and no matter how many times I type the info in and hit "Update," it doesn't save the changes. So I'm just going to start continuing the list in posts such as this one.

UPDATE APRIL 9, 2015: I've started a Page 2 of the Master List, so now these incidents have been added:

Man abused by TSA, jailed by cops; TSA agent lies under oath


Another TSA agent charged with child sex abuse


Another TSA sexual predator


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Whistleblower John Kiriakou Finally Freed (kinda, sorta)

Former CIA employee and torture whistleblower John Kiriakou has been freed after almost two years in prison. He is the only American who has served prison time in the (on-going) U.S. torture scandal. While Dick Cheney, George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, John Yoo, Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, John Rizzo, and other assorted psychopaths walk free -- and, in fact, are sought out and promoted by the so-called news media -- Kiriakou went to jail for exposing the U.S. torture program. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Another TSA abuse, another day in the USA

Unfortunately, Blogger is on the fritz and has been for days, so I can't update the Master List of TSA Crimes and Abuses (see menu at top of the page -- Pages 1 and 2 both). I give up. So here's an addition (along with my reply to her) that might someday be added to the list, if Blogger ever gets its act together. From February 2, 2015:

I may never fly again and I am serious thank you TSA. I was TSA prechecked but my hands got wanded and supposedly something showed up. My carryons were totally dumped out including my wallet I was taken to a room for full pat down..breast, groin they reached inside my pants...degrading, humiliating and frightening..I am a 63 year old woman with high blood pressure they are lucky I didn't stroke out! As I tried o repack my carryons and tuck in my shirt I heard the agents state that I was the fifth false positive that morning and they knew the wand was defective. Not going back to RSA Fort Meyers!

Julian Assange and Wikileaks

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lanaguage Freak

This is an op-ed I wrote for the Baltimore Sun back in 2005. I wanted to call it "Language Freak," but of course the copy editor didn't. He/she/they/whoever changed it to what you see below. Anyway, since I'm a linguaphile, and have all sorts of language pet peeves, I thought I'd republish it here:  
In need of 'proactive' translator  
By Lisa Simeone 
Originally published January 31, 2005  
SOMETHING IS happening to my friends. Even my most trusted, down-to-earth, sensible friends. Slowly, over time, they've forgotten how to speak English.