502 From Jim B, Atlanta, GA, 10 August 2007, 04:11:29 AM PST
Political Darwinism is a real phenomenon. There is constant evolution in societies and the degree to which they wish to keep themselves free. We are unfortunately--after 200+ years--evolving into a culture that blindly gives away its liberties for the (false) sense of security the government promises. It's really the same concept as the "nanny state" we were so used to hearing about in the context of welfare and social programs, although with a definite patriarchal "we'll protect you" spin.
I travel a good deal internationally, and am always a little queasy when I come back into the USA...it's not a free country any more. Read Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World. They could be manuals for this current government's push for total control.
The ultimate question: Is there really anything we can do to change it now? The greater populace has become too docile, and maybe this herd of sheep is just too big to move. People's stomachs are full, their houses are comfortable, and there's always a new channel to watch or video game to play--just keep us "safe" they say. A huge chunk of the population has no desire--or in many states now, doesn't have the educational foundation--to really think through the long-term ramifications of gradually giving up our liberties. Our elected leaders have no impetus to help us, because more dependence on the government means more power and control for them. The people who actually read sites like this represent a small percentage of the population, and are often considered "fringe" or "conspiracy theorists."
I'm skeptical, and depressingly pessimistic about this. The Republic is on its last legs, and the fairy tale of freedom and liberty that I grew up believing was the story of the United States of America is very close to being over.
I'll be interested to see if I wind up on a watch list after this!
501 From anonymous, 09 August 2007, 03:36:10 PM PST
...they're determined 2 steal our lives, liberty, & property...
is the hour already past...midnight ???...
...or is there still time 2 redeem ourselves ???...
499 From Sally K, Boston, MA, 07 August 2007, 09:11:32 PM PST
490 From Debra N, Wind Lake, WI, 16 April 2007, 01:44:50 PM PST
Our horror story can not be told in 2000 characters- is there somewhere I can email or fax the whole nightmare story? Thank you
489 From anonymous, 04 February 2007, 01:41:31 PM PST
hi.if u plz reply to this
are they still conducting a copy of credit report(US airports) everytime we fly into the states??
488 From Jim D, Boston, MA, 16 January 2007, 01:51:46 AM PST
i liked your site
487 From John D, 01 January 2007, 09:22:08 PM PST
As someone who was involved with the notorious watchlist, I could go on extensively about the flaws and hypocrisy there. However I will stick to a few issues. Actually, the CAPPS system in place isn't as bad as many people think. Sure it's not perfect and many innocent people have to go through some extra screening, but in most cases this is only a minor inconvenience. There is a real random element involved that ensures anyone might be selected. The watchlist however is a different story. First of all, what legal grounds does TSA have to prevent someone from boarding an aircraft? In all the cases I have ever seen where a person on the No Fly list was denied boarding, the individual was not arrested, but merely prevented from getting on the plane. Where does the intelligence come from that determines who is on the No Fly list? If the government has information on a known terrorist, shouldn't that individual be arrested and charged? How can someone be free to go anywhere except on an airplane? They can get on a train, boat, go to the mall or anywhere else in the world but an airplane! Is this constitutional? I have seen the haphazard way in which individuals' names are placed on the watchlist and the lack of any accountability by TSA for errors and inconsistencies. TSA only seems to be accountable to GAO, and even then the most they will do is a slap on the wrist. Even after watchlist errors are pointed out, they continue to exist without being corrected. That is, unless the errors somehow affect a politically connected person. Those errors are corrected immediately! Lastly, it should be remembered that TSA is a regulatory body of appointed, not elected officials. Yet they have power to set policy that is enforceable by fines and/or imprisonment. Ideally this is all done in the name of national security, which all good Americans are in favor of. The reality is though, that many government employees are more motivated by ego and quest for power.
485 From Steve C, GA, 27 September 2006, 03:58:13 AM PST
1. Since when did the Executive Branch have the right to stop Americans from traveling?
2. More than 120,000 names are on terrorist watch lists that the TSA will use to screen fliers. Nowhere does the TSA mention testing the right of passengers to seek redress of an error. It is also mute on how a flier who is wrongly placed on the watch list could have his or her name removed.
3. No one who flew in June of 2004 gave their permission for that information to be turned-over to the government. This appears to be an illegal data dump as no Privacy Act notice was given.
4. The TSA has a horrible record on privacy. During the past two years, the TSA secretly obtained millions of travel records from several airlines and airline-reservation systems and passed these records on to private contractors.
5. TSA already has millions of travel records and ran testing on these records. Why do they need more records? What were the results of the earlier testing?
6. No one within the TSA has been punished for the earlier, secret privacy invasions.
7. The inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), still hasn't completed their investigation into all of TSA's previous privacy violations.
8. The terrorist watch lists are a mess. TSA will use lists that have been proven to be inaccurate in order to test a system that has no proven effectiveness: garbage in, garbage out.
9. The millions of tax dollars that will be spent on 'Secure Flight' would be better spent on things we know will work, such as cargo screening, better training for TSA employees, and point-to-point baggage matching.
10. This is America, not Communist China. Internal border controls are un-American.
I must admit, I am concernd.
484 From CA, 16 August 2006, 03:21:57 AM PST
Mass screening has shown to be an inefficient use of resources. Every terrorist act relating to transportation since 9/11 has been committed by Muslims. Each one of those Muslims has fit identifiable categories. Let the TSA and Homeland Security use appropriate racial, religious and ethnic profiling to single out the known and obvious source of terrorists in our midst. I have been posting detailed information on this at www.goodtimebob.com for some time.
483 From Daniel S, Hollywood, CA, 12 August 2006, 12:27:55 AM PST
The TSA needs to amend its customer relations policies and be held publicly accountable for the stances it takes, particularly on the following three issues:
1. Either publicize the non mandatory nature of providing identification to board planes, or change its policy (pending judiciary approval, despite precedent) to accurately reflect the claims, printed and verbal, it makes in airports.
2. Provide clauses that outline the rights and restrictions of private contractors, who are neither TSA employees, nor Airline employees, in relation to TSA regulations, and how to verify them as such.
3. Disclose its privacy policies, especially regarding the acquisition of personal information collected by Airlines and other 3rd party agencies, and its subcontracting to other 3rd parties. This needs at the very least to be reflected in the policies of a) the TSA, and b) participating (if optional) airlines and related 3rd parties.
<<first page <previous page next page> last page>>