Don’t touch my junk, bro!

Via der Blaustrumpf, I came across the blog of the “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested” guy (yes, he has a blog; of course he does, and of course he wrote about his experience at the hands—well, not quite, but almost—of the TSA).  He also took video of the incident on his phone, although it’s not so much “video” as audio, as the phone is for the most part lying face up on whatever surface taking a long still-shot of the ceiling.  But the audio is good and clearly captures his exchanges with the TSA screeners.  I have to admit, the “touch my junk” line made me laugh.  It’s at about the 3:50 mark of the first video.  And, as if on cue, a few seconds later a public service announcement pipes in over the intercom: “Security is everyone’s responsibility.”  (Well, then, how about I fondle my own balls and let you know if I find anything?)

Not much to add except that I respect the guy for refusing to submit to this bullshit on principle.  As for the larger implications, this comment by Brian Singer over at C4SS should give you something to think about:

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again in my informal quest for a grand unified theory of the unadulterated power of the welfare-warfare state:
On my first combat tour in Iraq, we subjected all persons coming onto the FOB to these scanners. Believe me, they hide little. I had the unpleasant experience of manning these scanners on multiple occasions. We called them “ball scanners” for a good reason.

Here’s my point: We invade a foreign country, and subject the people there to everything from warrantless searches. Invasive pat downs, ID card regimes, and of course, let’s not forget… Murder.
Then, we take this this new “security” technology, once we’ve tested it and found the best way to make people give up and comply, and bring it home to the good old US of A so that we can employ it here. As sick and disgusting as our foreign wars and occupations are, what seems to be missing from the whole discussion is what I see as the fact that these ventures are serving as laboratories for assaulting and destroying what few freedoms are left here in the US.

TSA draws heavily from former military members in it’s hiring. Connect the dots.


More Election Day Propaganda

A friend forwarded this email to me.  It was sent to him by a friend of his, as a way of urging him to vote.

Dear E—,
Today is Election Day. The Tea Partiers and the cynics are hoping we all decide not to do anything and stay home.
Today Common Dreams published the transcript of a speech Bill Moyers gave this past Saturday night as part of the Howard Zinn Lecture Series at Boston University.
It’s rather long but we encourage you to read the whole speech.
Here’s the final paragraph:

But let’s be clear: Even with most Americans on our side, the odds are long. Money fights hard, and it fights dirty. Think Rove. The Chamber. The Kochs. We may lose. It all may be impossible. But it’s OK if it’s impossible. You heard me right. I’ve learned something about this from the former farmworker and labor organizer Baldemar Velasquez. The members of his Farm Labor Organizing Committee are a long way from the world of K Street lobbyists. But they took on the Campbell Soup Company – and won. They took on North Carolina growers – and won, using transnational organizing tactics that helped win Velasquez a “genius” award from the MacArthur Foundation. And now they’re taking on no less than R. J. Reynolds Tobacco and one of its principle financial sponsors, JPMorgan-Chase. Some people question the wisdom of taking on such powerful interests, but here’s what Velasquez says: “It’s OK if it’s impossible; it’s OK! Now I’m going to speak to you as organizers. Listen carefully. The object is not to win. That’s not the objective. The object is to do the right and good thing. If you decide not to do anything, because it’s too hard or too impossible, then nothing will be done, and when you’re on your death bed, you’re gonna say, ‘I wish I had done something.’ But if you go and do the right thing NOW, and you do it long enough good things will happen-something’s gonna happen. Shades of Howard Zinn!”

I hope you will join all of us in the Common Dreams community in defying the polls and the cynics by going to vote. We can’t give up “because it’s too hard or too impossible”.
And no matter the results of today’s elections, Common Dreams will be here for you going forward, bringing you the breaking news and views from the best progressive voices of our time.
“Do the right thing NOW” and go vote. Good things will happen,
Craig Brown
for the whole Common Dreams team

First of all, here we have the typically lame progressive stratagem of attempting to motivate their base of voters by conjuring up the dread twin specter of the Tea Partier and the cynic.  You see, because the enemy isn’t a bankrupt political system, it’s a (largely) media-created and driven non-movement and their apparent allies, those dastardly malcontents who are tactless enough to notice the steaming turd on the carpet that everyone else is desperately trying to ignore.

Secondly, I’m not sure what the passage by Bill Moyers quoted above has to do with voting.  He’s talking about a labor organizer who won concessions from some big businesses by “using transnational organizing tactics”—not by dutifully plodding into the voting booth and hoping that one of the two available corporate-sponsored candidates would actually do something to help his cause.

(I didn’t read the Moyers piece, so I’m not sure if he’s actually endorsing voting; it seems, from a brief skim, that he’s just talking about “organizing.”  Although it wouldn’t be entirely out of character for him to go on and on about the corruption of the system and then turn around and extol the virtues of “democracy.”  Moyers strikes me as a well-meaning and serious guy, but ultimately a true believer in the US government and its institutions.)

But nevermind, just get out and vote.  Good things will happen, says the guy from Common Dreams.  He got the “Dreams” part right, anyway.

And for additional reading enjoyment, check out this compendium of progressive voting scolds.

Election Day Notice

Apparently, judging by the number of campaign ads and phone calls and letters I’ve received, not to mention people knocking on my door, all urging me to vote, this is the most important election in at least two years.  I’m told that if I don’t vote, if I succumb to the cynicism that’s always threatening to corrode “our democracy,” a radical right- or left-winger might get into office, and then…well, we don’t even want to think about what that might mean.  Not to mention all of the jobs that are on the line!  So, come on everyone, get out and vote.  We desperately need to change (the faces in) Washington.