Sunday Links

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

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39 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  Jay | 

    All of these stories: Do the idiots in charge (at the school, at the TSA) really believe the crap they are spouting? The fact that kids lose basically all of their rights while in school is terrible. These administrators should be suspended. TSA’s blogger Bob usually does a decent job. This time, I doubt he even believes the crap he’s spewing. Sigh.

  2. #2 |  Aresen | 

    From the school suspension story:

    Northwest school board President Mark Schluter declined to comment because of the possibility of litigation.

    Of course, refusing to voluntarily apologise and correct the student’s record kinda makes litigation inevitable, doesn’t it?

  3. #3 |  Aresen | 

    Loved the astronomy photos. Thanks for the link.

  4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

    TSA’s “Blogger Bob” responds to criticism of those posters telling people to be suspicious of photographers. I don’t find his response particularly convincing.

    Yeah, if there’s anything we have a shortage of, it’s paranoia about terrorism.

    If you added up all the actions taken by the government since 9/11, it could quite accurately characterized as an aggressive fear-mongering campaign to get the power-grabbing Patriot Act (among other legislation) passed so they could more easily spy on citizens for activities completely unrelated to terrorism. Yeah, that would be the same Patriot Act that the democrats raised a shit-storm over and then didn’t do a thing to roll back once they were in control of Congress and the White House.

    You can be certain of one thing. Practically nothing the government did after 9/11 improved national security (unless you classify bombing the shit out of Islamic countries as a good way to reduce the interest of Islamic extremists in attacking us).

    You gotta love how it’s only called terrorism when it’s them attacking us.

    Needless to say, I don’t think much of Blogger Bob.

  5. #5 |  Matt I. | 

    I lived in a country where, believe it or not, Visine is banned because they don’t want marijuana users to be able to hide their red eyes.

  6. #6 |  Marty | 

    I’m way past being able to be surprised or outraged by what schools do to students…

  7. #7 |  Nipplemancer | 

    Something similar happened to me when I was in high school. I showed up late for school one day in the spring, red-eyed from 1) just waking up and 2) allergies. I was immediately accused of being high and sent to the nurse. There in her office i was confronted by the school cop, the ‘drug counselor’, and the V.P., where I told them all the same story, I just woke up, ran to school and have allergies. They take my BP which is now elevated (hmm, perhaps it’s because I’m surrounded by a bunch of over-zealous drug warriors) is taken as proof that I’m on drugs. They call mom and tell her that her son is on drugs and that I have to be tested before I’m allowed back in school, and by the way it’s 200 bucks because you have to go to our pre-approved screening center.
    I passed the test naturally, because I was fucking straight-edge at the time – I even showed them the faded black X’s on the back of my hands. My mom eventually got the school board to refund her two hundred bucks after about a year of lawyering back & forth. She spent more on the lawyer than she did on the test, but my mom saw through all the bullshit from the get-go and vowed to fight them to the end. I love my mom for that (and the whole bringing me into the world part too).

  8. #8 |  Aresen | 

    Nipplemancer | September 12th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I love my mom for that …

    Good for her. For all that she spent on the lawyers, I bet the school district had to spend more.

    (and the whole bringing me into the world part too).

    Well, everyone’s entitled to one mistake. ;)

  9. #9 |  Andrew S. | 

    On the TSA blog post on photography:

    There’s a reason that, over on Flyertalk, the TSA Blog is referred to as “Propaganda Village”. That’s a pretty typical post for him. Dance around, say he’s right, and then ignore counterpoints.

  10. #10 |  Mattocracy | 

    Minors are a group of people that have steadily lost rights as other previously oppressed people have gotten their rights re-established. Women’s Suffrage happened, the civil rights era occurred, gays are getting close to full inclusion. It seems that as all of the previous oppression once levied on these people are now being directed at people under the age of 18.

    And please don’t respond with “no one is really free and there is still oppression everywhere for everyone blah blah blah!” Comparatively, minors have it the worse. They can’t vote and they don’t have the resources to defend themselves other than what their parents can offer.

  11. #11 |  Elemenope | 


    So very, very true. And unlike the others, the prognosis for rights for minors in the future keeps dimming. Between the drug war, communitarian “it takes a village to raise a brat!” crap and the latest scare craze–Rock and Roll! D&D! Sexting!–it’s a wonder they don’t just have kids locked up in concrete pens with barbed wire perimeters.

    Oh, wait…

  12. #12 |  Windy | 

    Mattocracy, you are correct, minors do have it the worst when it comes to oppression of rights. When one realizes that a mere hundred years ago (or so) a woman was considered an old maid if she wasn’t married by the age of 16 and most were mothers by the age of 15, while boys were apprenticed to a profession at around age 13, and while both sexes were expected to act like responsible adults by the age of 13, it seems so very wrong to treat teenagers like irresponsible children in our era. Childhood has been deliberately extended so government could continue to exercise greater control. I know 35 year olds, today, who are less mature than I was at 12. But still the vast majority of people do not see that a very oppressive police state has crept over us, taking a little right here and a little right there until we are now deprived of self determination almost completely.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do think teens should be able to enjoy a fairly carefree teenage years while transitioning from childhood to adulthood, but they should also be preparing for the responsibilities of adulthood — taking jobs, paying their own way, learning to cook and manage a household (male and female alike), a budget and a checking account. Less schooling (fewer hours at a school desk) with more appropriate (as listed above plus “civics” — they need to know what their rights are and how to keep them) education, while they get educated in maturity through their jobs.

    They need freedom to accomplish that, and they need their unalienable rights respected, as well.

  13. #13 |  Brandon | 

    The ad on the side of the comment page is for Awesome.

  14. #14 |  Marty | 

    #9 | Mattocracy

    this is a pet peeve of mine- we send these kids to school, search their cars, lockers, and pockets, bring in drug dogs, censor their newspapers, etc and in a few short years they become our cops, lawyers, and judges… why would it occur to them to respect anyone’s rights when they’re rights have been steamrolled?

  15. #15 |  JS | 

    I’m so sick of all this drug war police state crap. When I do finally leave America for good I’m gonna start a town somewhere and call it Agitator and you can all come move there when you’ve had enough of here.

  16. #16 |  croaker | 

    Point of Information:

    According to the FlyerTalk web board, the TSA Blog is known as “Propaganda Village”, and the man is “Blogdad Bob”.

  17. #17 |  André |

    If anybody was looking for good news about Jan Brewer, the governor of AZ running for reelection, don’t click on the above link.

  18. #18 |  Bob | 

    Personnel from five Ohio police agencies…

    Of course, these idiots were just engaging in idle voyeurism, but that doesn’t excuse the act of thoughtless intrusion.

    I would expect, that the only reason they were caught was because it was a psuedo-celebrity.

    The big issue here is the lack of oversight and safeguards that allowed this to occur at all, what are the odds that personnel that have access to these records use them to snoop routinely on people?

    These people probably consider it a ‘perk’ of the job to check our everyone they want.

  19. #19 |  Bob | 

    #14: Marty

    this is a pet peeve of mine- we send these kids to school, search their cars, lockers, and pockets, bring in drug dogs, censor their newspapers, etc and in a few short years they become our cops, lawyers, and judges… why would it occur to them to respect anyone’s rights when they’re rights have been steamrolled?

    In truth, you get very little more from an adult than what you programmed into them as a child. A few people can break the cycle, but most cannot. You follow your parent’s religion, financial views, and overall world views.

    Of course, the earlier you start the indoctrination, the more it will be set. Do you think the children of Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church just happen to agree with their dad because they analyzed the available data and came to that logical conclusion? Do you think the Amish have a 90% retention rate on THEIR children because it’s so fun to be Amish? No. Programmed from birth.

  20. #20 |  megsies | 

    Here in Ottawa, CATSA (the Canadian version of the TSA, except for some very limiting differences in their scope) has actually reached out to the plane affectionados to help them keep an eye on suspicious behavior, rather than assume they are all the suspicious persons for doing what people have done since planes were invented – watching them and taking photos. I think this is a Canada-wide thing.

  21. #21 |  Toonhead | 

    #19 Bob – What happens in Rumspringa stays in Rumspringa.

  22. #22 |  Marty | 

    ‘Programmed from birth.’


  23. #23 |  Marty | 


    ‘The big issue here is the lack of oversight and safeguards…’

    to me, the bigger issue is that the databases exist at all. social security numbers weren’t supposed to be for identification. too many laws create too many bullshit criminals in too many bullshit databases. too many people want to know what credit scores other people have, etc.

  24. #24 |  jrb | 

    These people probably consider it a ‘perk’ of the job to check our everyone they want.

    Yeah, that’s the consensus from ’round the world.

  25. #25 |  StrongStyle81 | 

    In relation to the school story about the boy.

    I also lost my father at sixteen, I can assure you it is one of the hardest things that could happen to a teenage boy. In high school, you’re still trying to make sense of the world around you. Having something like that dropped on you makes everything impossibly confusing. I find what this school did to be absolutely appalling. These people should be fired and banned from working with children ever again.

    This is a level of insensitivity and emotional cruelty that only high school seems to produce. There is so much in that article that really pisses me off. The fact that the school didn’t immediately remove the suspension from his record or offer any kind of apology is disgusting. What kind of people do this? This is really what gets me though.

    “District spokeswoman Lesley Weaver said she could not discuss specifics about the case, citing federal privacy laws.”

    Federal privacy laws has nothing to do with it. The only thing that should have come out of Lesley Weaver’s fucking mouth is an apology and a commitment that the issue will be resolved.

    “We’re very sorry for the family’s loss and we want to provide whatever resources they need to get through this,” Weaver said

    By suspending him and throwing him in an alternative education program? This school district owes this kid and his family a public apology and let him come back to school in peace. My deepest condolences to the bereaved. This is a wound that never heals, it only numbs. And those pricks just threw salt all over it while it was fresh.

  26. #26 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I love drugs. I also love hookers.

    And, I love a foreign policy that is not based on blowing other countries up because they respond unkindly to us killing their people or taking their land.

    I’m severely at odds with the USA because of the above (and because I’m a capitalist).

    I also love astronomy where we can all look at shit (for free…for now) that is actually untainted by government shitheads and the people who love them.

  27. #27 |  MassHole | 

    I had my locker searched in high school (late 80’s) by a sheriff deputy for suspicion of being a Satanist. No shit. Long hair, punk rock and skateboarding were just too much for the idiots administrators. Never mind the fact I was an honor student, a starter on the tennis team, and a member of the schools nationally recognized chess team. When my locker mate and I confronted the asst. principal that participated in the search, he said he was acting on an “anonymous tip” and they were afraid we would influence other kids.

    In my experience, it’s been things like this that make many kids begin to question authority. Once they see that many adults are stupid and believe ridiculous things, they begin to see the light and realize that maybe all the other stuff they’ve been told could be BS too.

  28. #28 |  joel | 

    The positive thing about the Ohio story is that it was the Highway Patrol that is out there protecting privacy rights and enforcing the law.

    It is not common, especially on this site, to read about how police are doing when it comes to policing themselves.

  29. #29 |  roy | 

    Where do you send the body scanner form? Or can you just print it out and leave it in your pocket next time you fly?

  30. #30 |  Nando | 

    You know what else is a symptom of marijuana use? A big appetite. I bet that 16y/o eats tons of junk food and can devour a large pizza all by himself (at least I could when I was his age), so he *MUST* be smoking pot!

  31. #31 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Regarding the oppressed status of minors and younger people in general, I was wondering what effect an upper age limit of 50 for political eligibility would have on the system? Would it improve the situation? Would there be a cost?

    I have never seen this idea proposed before (for obvious reasons, the establishment finds it convenient for self-preservation to have older people in political office). It seems discriminatory that there is a lower bound of 25 (or 35) for certain federal offices, but it is established practice to create a bound somewhere. Why not an upper bound?

    It is a common complaint that the younger generations are dangerously uninterested in politics. Would this increase their interest in general? In power, would they be more or less oppressive than their elders?

    Just a thought experiment, you know where I stand on the subject ….

  32. #32 |  Aresen | 

    Jeez, Nando, you’re right!

    At 14, I could go back to a buffet for fourths, eat two large pizzas and scarf half a tray of brownies and a pint of ice cream. All along, I thought I didn’t use MJ until I was 17. Mom must have been putting something in those brownies!

  33. #33 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #15 | JS — “When I do finally leave America for good I’m gonna start a town somewhere and call it Agitator and you can all come move there when you’ve had enough of here.”

    My mind was wandering to-and-fro this weekend and your comment JS reminded me of one of its meanderings.

    Are there any other “Agitators” in other nations of the world? I’m almost sure there have to be. Great Britain is a no-brainer, for example. I was thinking that it’s an interesting comment on a society that it even has “Agitators.”

    Having an “Agitator” means that the society is f’ed up enough to generate the kind of material one views on The Agitator, yet free enough that its government doesn’t suppress publication of said material.

    A lack of “Agitators” could indicate that a society is very healthy in general, or it could be a totalitarian police state (I mean one that’s markedly worse than America, like North Korea). But those would be fairly obvious.

    I submit that it is reasonable to measure the general health of a society by the relative absence of “Agitators.” Were I to look for a new country to call home, I would perform just such a web search. From what I’ve heard, the Scandinavian countries would rank pretty high.

  34. #34 |  TC | 

    Dem TSA scanners are bunko I tell ya! Chopped off 4″ of me manhood it did! I’m properly ticked off at em too. Cuz when after dat scan, by gawd it took it off of me person it did! Ya’ll jest ask Mary Lou iffin I be stretchin it!


    Kids and rights. In the world known as earth if a kid raised a voice toward any older person deemed as an adult by society, they might not see another sunrise! Today they can totally ruin almost any adult figure by making an accusation!

    If school officials / morons desire to mess around, then level the accusations about some gang rape attempt, sexual deviant behavior, innuendo during questioning…. ya know fuck em up!

    THE UEA has got to go!!!!!

    The educational system was much better when a teacher/principal could spank their spoiled asses across the loading dock!


    The only thing wrong with lawyering up and paying thousands for a hundred dollar item, is that the fucking brick walls of POLICY did NOT git torn down! That is what we think will happen if we beat them, but such does NOT happen!

    Management by policy/brick walls, does not work, in Govt or private enterprise! Same thing a MMS has demonstrated so well it’s effectiveness at preventing crime!

  35. #35 |  JS | 

    Cynical “I submit that it is reasonable to measure the general health of a society by the relative absence of “Agitators.” Were I to look for a new country to call home, I would perform just such a web search. From what I’ve heard, the Scandinavian countries would rank pretty high.”

    Yea I think that’s what’s so frustrating is the lack of agitators. I think the American revolution was caused by people who were not only fed up (I think most all Americans are fed up, they just don’t talk about it) but who had a large and widely read literature explaining their grievances so that the majority of the population was ripe to go along with the revolution. Of course back then it was possible to as the founding fathers put it, altar or abolish forms of government. That was before assassination drones and an omnipotent police state. Nowdays the best we can hope for is a Soviet style implosion or to emigrate (or is it immigrate, I never can keep them straight?) So yea maybe Sweden or ICeland. I notice Lew Rockwell is trying to set up a mirror site in Iceland for when the US government trumps up an excuse to shut his down. If I could I would be gone tommorow, I’m sick of it. But idk where to go really.

  36. #36 |  Anon | 

    “TSA’s blogger Bob usually does a decent job. This time, I doubt he even believes the crap he’s spewing.”

    I’ve worked with Bob. Most of the really unbelievable crap comes directly from the upper management, and he has to work within their guidelines. Trust me, as bad as you imagine this agency is run, the truth is even worse when seen from the inside.

  37. #37 |  Kirsten | 

    Radley, would you mind writing up a little post on your protocol for when you have to fly? Things you decline, things you agree to, what you do/do not pack, etc.? I’ll be flying for only the second time since 9/11, am booked through at least one airport with body scanners, and would like to hear what other people are doing as far as dealing with TSA.

  38. #38 |  RandallSalt | 

    Great, now on top of inflating grades, students everywhere can still in class in fear that they’ll be kicked out for having dead parents:

    “Red puff eyes, gotta be drugs, just gotta be…”

  39. #39 |  joel | 

    Anyone else notice that the TSA webpage has a “Delete-O-Meter” keeping us updated on how many comments they’ve erased?