Where’s Senator Joe McCarthy when we need him? The TSA, raw milk, Bill S-510 — was the “red menace” ever this real?

What would Senator Joe McCarthy have said about Bill S-510. Would he have seen in it, a creeping communist menace?

Senator Joe McCarthy -- Hey Joe, there's a helluva lot of "unAmerican" activity going on these days. Where are you?

Of course Sen. McCarthy has long been discredited, and communism is dead or so we’re led to believe. But what if Russia was just a beta test for what’s starting to happen in America now, with S-510 and with random TSA checkpoints even on domestic travel?

Raw milk journalist David E. Gumpert is certainly seeing red, over the apparent collusion with the government, of farm and consumer groups who should know better. From his latest post on The Complete Patient blog:

“I keep asking myself, how did we ever get to this point, where political and economic control of America’s food system is on the verge of being turned over to a government agency whose leaders declared early this year we have “no absolute right” to “any particular food” or to “bodily and physical health.”

I keep thinking about the old Soviet Union’s control of food system, where, in the interests of the revolution (food safety), farms were turned into collectives (facilities), which produced grand five-year plans (HACCP plans), reenforced by centralized standards (Good Agricultural Practices), and there were special exemptions for private peasant plots (Tester-Hagan exemptions). It all led to chronic shortages, terrible quality, and eventual collapse.

I keep wondering how smart informed people like Judith McGeary (Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance), Sally Fallon (Weston A. Price Foundation),  Michael Pollan (Omnivores Dilemma), and others got themselves hoodwinked into supporting a hopelessly complex set of rules to maybe, possibly, depending-on-how-you-interpret-them allow certain small farms exemptions from this governmental takeover of the food system.

And I marvel that a bunch of other smart people are willing to trust the FDA, and hope that it will suddenly transform itself from a bunch of hardasses who take pleasure in driving small food producers out of business into a sensitive agency dedicated to sustainable food production; you can see the skewering I took for contradicting that logic in a new posting about the food safety debate at Grist.org (although most of the comments are skeptical of the FDA apologists).

The government takeover was premised on winning over a bunch of notable foodie organizations over, and once the zealots engaged people from the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, the Northeast Organic Food Association (NOFA), and Rural Vermont, they could pull the old good-cop-bad-cop routine, with Sen. Tester the good cop via the hope of holding Big Ag at bay, if you’ll only help me figure this thing out. Once you’re figuring out the “or’s”, “and’s”, and “wherefore’s”, and deciding when a farm becomes a “facility,” you quickly lose touch with the big-picture issues, including:..”

Read it all on The Complete Patient blog.

What's the world coming to?

From Reason.com, a post titled “You are no longer free to move about the country”:

“Janet Napolitano said last month that we should expect to soon see tighter restrictions at bus, train, and marine transportation centers, too. Here’s a report about TSA, Border Patrol, and local police setting up a checkpoint at a Greyhound station in Tampa. Note how quickly preventing a possible terrorist attack expands to include catching illegal immigrants, and preventing drug and what sounds like “cash smuggling.” (It’s hard to tell from the audio.) Note also the complete and utter reverence the local news report bestows on these government agencies, who after all are merely “teaming up to keep your family safe.”

A liberal blogger wrote to me in an email this week that libertarians who call the TSA pat-downs a violation of their civil liberties do a disservice to actual violations of civil liberties. It’s not difficult to envision the day where anyone wishing to take mass transportation in this country will have to first submit to a government checkpoint, show ID, and answer questions about any excess cash, prescription medication, or any other items in his possession the government deems suspicious. If and when that happens, freedom of movement will essentially be dead. But it won’t happen overnight. It’ll happen incrementally. And each increment will, when taken in isolation, appear to some to be perfectly reasonable….”

Read it all on Reason.com

And from the Moorefield Storey blog “Homeland Security’s Stranglehold on America”:

“There can be little doubt to me that the greatest threat to American liberties is not terrorism, but Homeland Security. Janet Napolitano, not Osama bin Laden, is the one attacking “our way of life.”

When the Homeland Security department was created it was endowed with unheard of powers, many agencies were centralized under it’s control. It used the 9/11 attacks to justify every attack on the privacy of Americans that it engaged in, and it engaged in many.

Consider the recent scanners that basically photograph airline passengers in the nude. Consider also the very intrusive “pat-downs” where federal agents feel the genitals of American citizens in the guise of
preventing another 9/11.  And we heard this all justified on the basis of how horrific 9/11 was.

To recap 9/11: a small band of terrorists hijacked airplanes and used them as missiles to take down the Twin Towers. Airplanes are massive, very fast, and filled with explosive fuels that will detonate upon impact. It was this combination of factors that made them so deadly. And this was the justification for a very intrusive government agency that routinely mistreats people and threatens anyone who complains at the airport. The entire purpose of the fondling process is to punish people who opt-out of the porno scanners that Janet Napolitano put into place.

So, what then is the excuse for TSA setting up the same sort of system at bus stations? Buses are not missiles, they won’t bring down buildings. They aren’t filled with enough explosive fuel to do anything close to what happened on 9/11.

Yet now we have TSA thugs manhandling the public to get on buses. And, in a typical example of mission creep, they are also now arresting people on immigration charges. Anything to justify their existence.

If 9/11 justified the creation of this super agency, with massive powers NOT granted by the Constitution, it certainly does NOT justify the same agency now going after people who are boarding buses. And given that many people have taken to these interstate busses, precisely because they were driven off of airplanes by the same sort of TSA thuggery, this is particularly telling. A Zogby poll found that 61% of Americans oppose full body scans and the so-called pat-downs. Pollster John Zogby said: “The airlines should not be happy with 42% of frequent flyers seeking a different mode of transportation due to these enhancements. It seems the airlines and TSA need to come together to find a solution before the American flying public abandons both.”

Zogby didn’t realize that the TSA has come up with their own solution: assault passengers on alternative modes of transportation as well, to destroy the competitive advantage they have over the airlines.

Here is the excuse that is now being used for this massive expansion of the TSA into the new realm of controlling who is allowed to enter a bus: terrorists might explode a bomb anywhere were people congregate and buses attract the public.

If that justifies Federal Fondlers at the bus stations then the presence of these thugs is justified anywhere. No place is exempt since “terrorists” could detonate a bomb anywhere.

If they can use a bus as a means of exploding bombs they can use vans, like was done in Oklahoma City by Tim McVeigh, or a car as they do in Iraq.

TSA agents regularly and routinely refuse to allow people to catch their flights. They have absolute control over who is free to travel. They create “no fly” lists which ban people, often on the mere basis of their name, from flying. USA Today reported that the TSA is “keeping records of people who make its screeners feel threatened.” Notice that  you do NOT need to threaten the bovine buffoons, unfit for decent employment. All you need do is cause them to “feel” threatened. Considering that these rotund troglodytes often claim threats when any questions their authority, it won’t take much for them to claim they “felt” threatened.

Actual violence against TSA agents have been few and far between. But now that the TSA is expanding into all modes of transportation there will be no escaping these fondling felons. If anger doesn’t escalate I’d be surprised. And with the increase in anger I would expect an increase in violence. Napolitano, who is paranoid of a violent backlash from Americans against her iron fisted tactics is helping to create the very type of movement she fears. And with each new measure she imposes on the public she helps justify the type of violence she claims to oppose. While the federal government does much which is appalling most such activities would not morally justify violent resistance. But the TSA seems bent on getting as close to the border as possible where such actions would be justified. Anyone who opposes such violence ought to be vocally opposing Homeland Security and demanding Napolitano’s immediate dismissal, if not trial.

Question their thuggery and you can be banned from the flight you have to catch, or all future flights as well. Quite simply there is no freedom to travel by air in the United States any more. Such freedoms have been destroyed by George Bush, and now Janet Napolitano and her accomplice, Barack Obama.

Now that the TSA is setting up at bus stations the same can be true there. TSA agents will have the same powers to prevent people from boarding buses. The same sort of “no fly” lists can be easily converted into “don’t ride” lists. And if Greyhound is not immune then why would city buses be immune? Why would Amtrak be immune? They aren’t….”

Read it all on the Moorefield Storey blog.

Another video on the “work” of the TSA:

Dr. Mercola on “What the TSA is not telling you about full body scans”

Picture of Joe McCarthy from the Box Turtle Bulletin

Statue of Liberty photo from this post on Boing Boing

Photoshopped image of statue of liberty by Dmitri Sklyarov, via Boing Boing.

Timothy McSweeney, from his post titled “A Message from a TSA Full-Body Scanner“:

“…. In some quarters, folks have been asking: “Why?” As in, “Why must the Department of Homeland Security build and maintain a vast database comprising digital images and noteworthy attributes of the penises of domestic and international travelers?” Questions like these are not for me to answer; I’m just a full-body scanner, not a political appointee. And if this issue is above my pay-grade, surely it’s above yours—after all, you don’t even work for the Transportation Safety Administration.

The salient point is this: Uncle Sam needs to know exactly what you’re packing for the War on Terror. As long as you’ve got something halfway reasonable down the front of those sweatpants, what do any of us really have to worry about?”

And another TSA inspired video:

And from the Washington Post “Don’t Touch my Junk: TSA workers face a tough job”:

TAMPA, Fla. — They’ve been called molesters, threatened with violence and ordered not to touch “my junk.”

One woman headbutted a TSA officer who was searching her laptop. Other screeners report being punched, kicked and shoved during pat-downs. Security officers know the new searches are more invasive but want Thanksgiving travelers to keep in mind they are just doing their jobs to keep people safe….”

“Just doing our job” sounds a lot like “just following orders”, doesn’t it?

1 Comment

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One response to “Where’s Senator Joe McCarthy when we need him? The TSA, raw milk, Bill S-510 — was the “red menace” ever this real?

  1. thebovine

    Be sure to read David E. Gumpert’s follow -up post here;


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