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The latest outrage by the TSA.


America is a free country. Except at its airports.

Anyone who thinks this is cool should go back and read their Orwell.

Kudos to this kid, for challenging the TSA in court.



( 121 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 14th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
Man, I wish him luck - TSA makes me so cranky! Probably not as cranky as it makes you, but still... Cranky.
Feb. 14th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear such news...and when I say "sorry" I really mean it, because I'm Italian and I see this kind of things happening every single day...and I'm totally sick!!
Feb. 14th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
The what???
Feb. 14th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
And this is why I still drive any time I can get somewhere with a 24-hour period. My 15-hour drives from Virginia to Illinois are still a lot easier on all levels than the flights I used to make.
Feb. 14th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
That is absolutely ridiculous! Next thing you know it'll be illegal to fly with an Arabic name!
Feb. 14th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
Man I've been embarrassed to be an US denizen for years now. This stuff just keeps getting worse and worse and worse...
Feb. 14th, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
Oh dear oh dear oh dear.
Feb. 14th, 2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
I was so glad to hear that he's suing with the help of the ACLU, and that he's articulate enough to make this a potential example case.
Feb. 14th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
What an idiot! We live in a post 911 world. It takes a special kind of stupid to travel with Arabic anything.
Feb. 15th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
Re: Lawd....
Sad to think that an American citizen can be called "stupid" for learning a foreign language. The stupidity here is the TSA's.
Re: Lawd.... - thewatcherseye - Feb. 15th, 2010 02:13 am (UTC) - Expand
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Feb. 14th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
George W. Bush and the Patriot Act, and "Democrat" Obama just amps up the same outrages even further. At least some Americans are starting to see clearly that the "security" isn't for the terrorists, it's for us.
Feb. 14th, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)

It's a matter of acceptable risk, isn't it. Lawsuit culture means that if you risk getting sued by a moron who dumps hot coffee in their lap, then obviously, the risk of dying on an airplane -has- to be zero if the airlines don't want to get sued by some cash-chasing retard. The simple fact of the matter is that life -is- a risk, and the US and the UK are doing a bash-up job letting the terrorists win by forcing the hands of those who make policy.

In short, blah blah blah, blah blah blah, I'm an evil anti-American person (as I've often been told) for exercising my patriotic duty to my two countries in calling out the people and the government for their apathy and lack of concern for their own freedom. 'Cause freedom isn't safety, and this 'safety' sure as hell ain't freedom.
Feb. 15th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
How about that - we live in a country where our legal system specifically allows for a party who believes they have been wronged to ask a legal authority to make a determination in the matter. It's almost as if that's the fair and appropriate thing to do!

In the case you cited, seemingly without particular knowledge of the case particulars, the plaintiff in question was burned severely and discovered, after attempting to have the company compensate for some of her extensive medical expenses, that they knew about the problem, had received hundreds of complaints involving injuries and had decided not to warn people about the problem or do anything about it because they just didn't think it was a problem big enough for their radar. That's why the jury initially awarded punitive damages - it's for that kind of crass behavior that potentially affects more people than just the wronged party. Trying to reduce that kind of problem to a 'oh, you can sue for millions because you spill hot coffee on yourself' is at best uninformed. You don't often hear that argument when people talk about the Pinto.

I'm glad this kid is standing up for himself but more important for basic civil rights.
(no subject) - raeyn - Feb. 15th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jinnigan - Feb. 15th, 2010 05:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - raeyn - Feb. 15th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
the cofee lawsuit wasnt frivolous! - fabricdragon - Feb. 15th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2010 11:43 pm (UTC)
"Except at its airports."

Thanks for saying so, GRRM. And yeah, thumbs up to this guy not lying down and taking it... I *always* get 'randomly' (heh.) screened when I travel by plane, and it just plain sucks. The last time I did an international flight I was subjected to a pretty scary, HOURS-long sequestered 'interview' that was blatantly unconstitutional while my wife looked on in fear from the other side of the room. Questions included "Are you a member of any special interest groups?"(!?) And (swear to God) "Do you have any martial-arts training?" Becuase, you know, if I was secretly a shao lin-trained jihadi, of COURSE I'd be honest about that with the TSA!

Anyway, it may not change the way the government creeps do business, but it's reassuring in a 'yes, there ARE decent human beings out there' way when someone at least says 'hey, this is messed up.' So thanks!
Feb. 15th, 2010 09:27 am (UTC)
LoL.. You're pointing out something about the Americans I always found amusing. What's the point in being questioned in such way? "Are you a terrorist?", what of it, IF I'm a terrorist I'm going to tell it to you???
No liquids, no lighters, BUT you can bring with you up to 5 boxes of matches. Probably, someone calculated that the sulphur in 4 match boxes is not critical, while in 6 is...

Nitwit protocol application.

The only other country in which I saw something similar was P.R. of China. While we were landing, the plane crew asked to the passengers to answer to a "serious" questionnaire about aviarian flu (it was 2006). Chinese were worried about aviarian flu entering their country (!). Of course, at the airport, a bored official was collecting hundreds of questionnaires without giving any look to them. Pointless.
Feb. 15th, 2010 12:01 am (UTC)
Ugh. They've really taken things too far. This is absolutely disgusting.
Feb. 15th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
I think I'm most creeped out by the section that said words like "bomb" and "terrorist" may have alarmed authorities. I'd imagine that if they're talking about flash cards, each card would have only a single word, so I'm guessing that both bomb and terrorist were present with no surrounding context, just the word itself floating next to its arabic counterpart. Are we really at the point where we're scared of the words themselves, and not the idea behind it? Didn't George Carlin teach us better?
Feb. 15th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
An acquaintance of mine took a job which had him flying all over the world. We often spoke about his travels, and one thing he mentioned was the care he had to take when considering what to bring with him. There were certain countries you just didn't visit while carrying certain books and other media unless you had a desire to be a guest of the authorities for awhile. The US shouldn't be one of those countries, and yet ...
Feb. 15th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
I read about that a while ago. There is something seriously, seriously wrong with the entire situation, and I hope that the legal hammer is dropped hard on TSA.

Also kind of makes me wonder what sort of idiots are working for TSA when they don't know what a flash card is. Says a lot, doesn't it?
Feb. 15th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC)
Ooo, that's my undergrad!
... IDK, my last year there a visiting prof faked a hate crime on herself. I'm waiting to hear a bit more before I get outraged...
Feb. 15th, 2010 05:41 am (UTC)
How about this article, which cites (but doesn't name) government officials who agree he was detained? http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/10/arabic.flash.card.suit/index.html
They deny that he was detained because of the flashcards, but then they're going to say that, aren't they? (They might even be telling the truth.)

Now, I've already seen online analysis from people who say they're lawyers which states the case has no basis. The ACLU obviously disagrees.

As for Kerri Dunn... she was tried and sentenced. The those who burned the cross and those who defaced posters of George Washington Carver and those who threatened queer students that same year? They did it, though I don't think any were charged with hate crimes.

Besides, why assume that because one individual faked a crime against herself in a (dark? Was it done after her speech at the Ath?) parking lot, it automatically means that someone else will tell lies about what happened in a public place, with the event on record?

(But then Dunn was a visiting prof at CMC, not Pomona, so maybe you meant someone else. These particular incidents happened after I'd graduated, so I'm not as familiar with them.)
Feb. 15th, 2010 01:40 am (UTC)
Gosh, I'm going to have to start being careful. Usually I pack an Arabic textbook in my own carry-on luggage to study during flights... crud.
Feb. 15th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC)
Communist organizations? Where is that in the TSA's brief?
Feb. 15th, 2010 02:07 am (UTC)
Sounds to me like he was profiled for several reasons, and not only the flashcards. I get 1984 reference, except that this guy gets cleared rather than shot in the head. As long as we don't give the TSA the authority to pass executions, we might just make it as a nation--no? ;)
Feb. 15th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC)
Something about this makes my spidey sense tingle. What happened is wrong, no two ways about that. But to be fair, you have to be a special sort of stupid to go to an airport with cards that say Bomb and Terrorism on them. He wants to learn Arabic to keep up with the news, he should try listening to it now and seeing whats going on and why what he did was a bad idea. I'm not saying he was looking for attention and got some, but I submit that its a possibility...
Feb. 15th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC)
If it helps, we in the airport world don't like the TSA at all. Hell, I'm pretty sure that most of the TSA agents are offended by the TSA.
Feb. 15th, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
To Kemidra: You wrote, " can't tell if you're trolling or if that's what you really got out of this article, but just in case you're serious: We live in a post WW2 world too. Should Japanese and German speakers still be treated like the enemy?"

We are not currently at war with a German or Japanese speaking country.

Also, I am all for being open minded. I'm not close minded about this. But please don't complain unless you an alternative. The TSA's do not create these laws. They merely enforce them. That's not an easy job.
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Re: Lawd - thewatcherseye - Feb. 15th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Lawd - nadingo - Feb. 15th, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Lawd - tikehau - Feb. 15th, 2010 09:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 15th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
Huh. That is... wildly, ridiculously unconstitutional, in addition to being just stupid. The TSA is going to get righteously sued, lose millions of tax dollars, and probably not learn their lesson after it all.

Hey George (et al), as a 25-year-old, I gotta ask: Has American politics and fear-mongering always been this stupid, or have things gone downhill recently?
Feb. 15th, 2010 05:46 am (UTC)
In almost every nation in the history of the world, fear-mongering has been this bad. Definitely in America, dating to even before it became the United States of America.
(no subject) - grrm - Feb. 15th, 2010 06:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amanonarun - Feb. 15th, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Comment... - robertthetoth - Feb. 16th, 2010 03:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - loosechanj - Feb. 15th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 15th, 2010 03:10 am (UTC)
That's just insane. I hope he wins.
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( 121 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
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