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Subject: you go, Mike!
Mike Curtis is RIGHT about flying: too intrusive, too uncomfortable, and too much of a hassle generally. I have curtailed my flying quite a bit over the last two or three years, and may quit altogether, if the airports start using strip-search machines the way Mr. Chertoff would like them to.
Amtrak, alas, is not an option for me, since there is no Amtrak in Oklahoma anymore. I remember, however, when the Texas Chief ran from Houston to Chicago, with a stop in Norman, where I was in college. I could get on the train in Norman and be in Chicago the next morning. The chair cars were so comfortable that one could sleep soundly. And yes, the dining car food was first-rate. I have been in touch with my elected representatives in Washington supporting the proposed high-speed rail line from Tulsa to San Antonio. It's not the Texas Chief, but it's a start.
In the meantime, I expect to do more driving. It's amazing how free I feel when I don't have to worry about liquids and gels in my luggage, or the size of my suitcases - when I can leave when I want, stop when I want, and arrive on my own schedule. No X-rays, no metal detectors, no parking hassles.
I think all of us who think the way Mike and I do should contact the airlines and let them know they're losing business. If we can get them to make a stink in Washington, maybe common sense will prevail.
Edmond, OK (red-state Democrat)
Subject: What, no Medal of Freedom?
If there were a guy in charge of the department that oversees the screening, Dubya would have given him a Medal of Freedom to show how much confidence he had in him or at the very least he would have given him an “atta boy”. Paul Bremer and George Tenet both got Medals of Freedom for overseeing screw ups and Brownie got an “atta boy” for New Orleans. And Rumsfeld had job security well past the time he should have been canned.
There is no one to give a medal to because DeMint wants to make sure screeners can’t have a union to ask for safety regulations, better pay or benefits. DeMint gets to raise his own pay and increase his own benefits. In most cases DeMint isn’t required to face down, pat down or confront possible bombers. Why don’t they put all congressional pay raises to a vote of the people? As far as I am concerned airport security should be paid more than DeMint or maybe even the president.
That was a really good and forceful speech President Obama delivered and I wish I could give him an “atta boy.”
He is less interested in blaming someone or bringing the responsible person to account than he is in fixing the problem which is what he has said from the day he was sworn in. That is one of the most purely politically motivated statements I have ever heard and he uses it regardless of whether he is talking about starting wars, torturing people or leaving the masses without food and water in the aftermath of a hurricane.
What would I do if my chief of police said, “I am less interested in finding the person who set fire to your house or beat your neighbor to death, than I am in making flame proof houses with burglar bars or putting more policemen on the street.”? I believe I would be calling for a recall vote.
All kinds of people are trying to make ME feel secure about relieving ME of more of MY rights to privacy. This morning on the Today Show they did this by having a guy, who is trying to sell scanners, show us his scanner. It should be noted that he was not the person who stepped in front of the scanner, but he did say it was no big deal.
They made a point of saying privacy isn’t that much of a concern, but they had to block out the guys genital area in order to show it on TV. This fellow had a pretty good body. Ann Curry didn’t step up there to show us what you see when a woman goes through. Maybe she was on the rag and didn’t want to show off her Maxi pad with wings. Could you get powder through a scanner if you are wearing a Maxi pad with wings or a Depends?
The guy says you can’t see anything below the skin, like breast implants, but what could you put in a tampon? If you go through and they see the string from your tampon will they think it is a fuse of some sort? If you are suicidal anyway why not do what drug mules do everyday and put it in a baggie and ram it up where the sun don’t shine? People are suggesting drug dogs which is not a bad idea.
Call me silly, but I still think good intelligence is the way to go. The guy should have been on a list and at some point you just have to refrain from saying, “don’t do this again” and fire someone. Someone misspelled the guys name at the State Department. I can understand that, my spell checker is still kicking out Barack Obama as a misspelled word.
Have we ever had a suicide bombing attack that involved a Cuban or Cuba? Exploding cigars don’t count, do they? When they did hijack planes it was to get a ride to Cuba, not to explode the plane or to crash it into a building. Cubans just never appeared to be that suicidal. Oh, and as soon as you pass the scanner your image is deleted. Right, and if someone gets by with some sort of contraband, the security people who sold the scanner do not want proof that they did scan this person and you couldn’t see the contraband. Maybe they will delete it because proof the thing doesn’t catch everything will be bad for sales. The idea that they might destroy evidence of a possible crime or the proof they need to make sure they aren’t sued or prosecuted is absurd.
They are going to put the people who are looking at My body in a room far away from the action so I won’t hear them giggling or getting excited. If they get excited they have a worse problem. It doesn’t see breast implants, but if you wear a padded bra, stuff it with TP or wear falsies they will have to do a strip search to make sure you aren’t carrying powder. What about exploding nursing pads?
These days, someone will always find a way to hack into whatever electronic device you have. Look what happened when people took cell phone pictures and videos at Abu Ghraib. Someone who cares about rights will always mess you up. There will always be someone to tell you if Angelina Jolie has a ticket today and when she will show up. Someone will say, “hey guys, there is a real babe 20 people down the line.” There will be people who take cell phone pictures of the scanning unless you scan the scanners.
There will be cell phone videos of the guys laughing in the airport scanning booth. What a job for guys who like Playboy? Somehow the Christian right should be refusing to allow good Christian boys to do this job of looking at all these bodies. They might be tempted. They should be refusing to allow their women to go through these.
There is no such thing as perfect security. The president has a right to refuse to have his picture or his wife’s picture used to sell things or ideas, even if they agree with them and I should not have to show off my entire body to get on a plane. I should also not be put on a terrorist list for disagreeing with the government.
I live in Oklahoma City and I had a relative killed at the Murrah bombing so when are they going to put blond, blue eyed guys traveling from Arizona or Kansas on a no fly list or scan them driving across the border?
Subject: Jan.7 mailbag
After going through several stressful days, it was so great to read today's letters. Scott and Mike, fellow Arkansans, it is too bad we do not know one another, for we are kindred spirits in a sea of limbaugh addicts.
Ellie, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I do think President Obama overestimated the republican mindset. They will lie, cheat and worse in order to continue enrichment of themselves. I cannot stand the sight of any of 'em.
Subject: Martyrdom at 36,000 feet?
So now they will use full body scanners. They possibly will move on to the next step: body cavity searches. Never mind patting down, that was a child's play. Can they possibly detect ALL the imaginable threats?
Just suppose: some martyr-to-be decided to enter the kingdom of heaven and take with him/her as many as possible by contracting some highly contagious disease before boarding a plane. Detectable? No. Preventable? I don't think so, because no security means short of lab tests (if they know what to look for) would detect it and stop that person. Several hours later in a comfy, closed environment, and everybody gets sick. The symptoms don't appear before 24-72 hours, but the contagious stage begins some 5-6 hours after contact. The plane lands safely, and disgorges 300 or so deathly sick people into very crowded airport...
Can this happen? How much you wanna bet, that sooner or later someone, somewhere, will come up with this idea? (I wonder if I am the first one to theorize on this subject. I also wonder if someone will knock on my door to pick me up and... never mind. We don't live under bushwa and his dick anymore. Do we?)
Notice that I do not mention any particular faith that martyr-to-be is of. It can be any, just ANY faith on earth. As long as someone feels like a martyr.
Subject: sick of the mainstream media
I'm so sick of the mainstream media I could scream.
Just because the Republicans are making a big deal about the "underwear bomber" is no reason to drop everything and ONLY report on this so-called terrorist.
What gets me is when I was seven years old I was setting off M-80s and blowing up garbage cans as well as shooting Roman Candles at my friends and lighting a bag of dog crap on a cranky neighbors porch and then laugh our asses off when he tried to stomp out the bag filled with dog crap.
This so-called "terrorist" couldn't even set his underwear on fire. What a joke.
He is like Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber," who couldn't set his shoe on fire on a plane a number of years ago.
These guys aren't "terrorists." They are mopes. They need a course in "Arson 101."
Years later I was drafted into the Army and assigned to the Combat Engineers where we would blow up things with dynamite and C-2. We never screwed up. It was a piece of cake if you know what you are doing.
I quit watching the news earlier this week when I could see the Republicans were going to turn this whole "underwear bomber" incident into a major breakdown of intelligence by the Obama administration.
While all this finger pointing is going on over the "underwear bomber," this is what is happening in Afghanistan and there is not a peep about it in the news
The mainstream media has become the water boy for the Republican Party.
It's a disgrace.
Bill Corcoran, Chicago
Subject: The Current Corporate Media Spin
The latest corporate controlled media spin is that the Democrats are in big trouble in the next election, heralded by Teabaggers and quitting Congressmen.
The reality is far different. The Teabaggers are a large splinter in the fragmented Republican party. They never voted for Democrats, and their demonstrations voicing opposition to everything is nothing new to Democrats. They in no way represent a loss of votes to the Democrats, though they do represent a danger to incumbent Republicans, as many will run in primaries where incumbents had little challenge in the past. They will also run as Independents, like in the recent New York race where the Conservative party candidate split the Republican base and allowed the Democrats to win a seat they had not held in more than 100 years. The Teabaggers could cost the Republicans many more seats in the next round of elections.
The recent announcement that two Democratic Senators would be retiring has the corporate media claiming that that indicates a trend toward big losses. Really, the fact that these two particular senators are resigning does very little harm to Democrats. Dodd had become an electorial liability, and his resigning will give the Democrats a much better chance of retaining his seat. The other seat will almost certainly remain Democratic. There are also ten Democratic Representatives that will not run again. The corporate media has been acting as if this is all bad news for Democrats, and as usual it's all spun lies.
The Republicans have five Senators and fourteen Representatives resigning this term. That's more than twice as many in the Senate and about 1/3 more in the house. Since the Democrats already hold majorities in both houses it is a big advantage to the Democrats. They could easily strengthenn their majorities in both houses. They might be able to ignore Leiberman and Stupak and the other blue dogs that vote with Republicans and get something done for a change.
The Democrats getting something done is what the corporate controlled media fear the most. The Democrats might enjoy a feeling of real accomplishment and want more.
Subject: Peacemakers And The Death Of Seven CIA Agents
Do we mourn these deaths the way we do the deaths of our troops as well as Afghani civilians & freedom-fighters in this going on nine years war? Yes, of course, because they all died that there be no war no more, nowhere, never, not even one. The crucial question, however, isn't whether or not peacemakers should mourn the loss of these agents, it's what can be done to stop the slaughter. And the answer is just as clear-cut, it's troops out now.
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