Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We've All Gone Crazy Lately

This is almost ten minutes long but worth watching. If nothing else, make sure you listen carefully to the recording of Steve Bierfeldt's "detention" by the TSA at the St. Louis airport.

Thankfully at least one part of the mainstream media picked this up:

Read it and laugh. Or cry.


Boxer said...

"are you from this planet?"



K9 said...

i think TSA security checkpoints are a stealth campaign to indoctrinate you into submission of rights as an individual - to allow unlawful searches and to follow orders without question.

imagine a situation where you would have to wear an identifying bracelet (like they have a beach resorts so you can get your "free" drink), give up your pets and/or children, agree to have your vehicles confiscated, and agree to be inside the "gate"..i.e. a fenced off area by 3 pm in the afternoon. Well, its happening in ontario california to homeless who were made to leave areas where they were camping and offered a "safe place" to be with free food and water.

here is an excerpt from the Los Angeles TImes report of march 18 written by david Kelly:

The no-pet order caused widespread anger and tears Monday as some homeless people said they could not imagine life without their dogs. Many have three or four and vowed to leave Tent City before giving the dogs up.

“I will go to jail before they take my dog,” said an emotional Diane Ritchey, 47. “That’s a part of me as much as anything. The dogs are as homeless as we are.”

Cindy Duke, 40, hugged Ritchey, who was sobbing.

“I had to give up my 6-year-old son because I was homeless and I’ll be damned if I give up my dog too,” Duke said.

read the article here:


.."first they came for our dogs........"

moi said...

Boxer: And their tone! Never deferential, never respectful, but right off the bat combatitive and hostile.

K9: Nice. Predating on the powerless – kicking people who are already down and out. Who have no other choice, no other place to be. Shameful.

Big Shamu said...

I wish I could get all worked up over this except that it's an old story. It's got nothing to do with Ron Paul bumber stickers and everything to do with forfeiture of perceived drug money. I remember an old 60 Minutes report on just this sort of thing except the people in that report had their cash confiscated and I seriously doubt they ever got it back. That's why you keep hearing the one TSA officer mentioning the DEA. They think the cash is to be used to buy drugs or having just sold drugs. And what happens when they confiscate the cash? They (whatever agency) gets a cut. Happens with police departments, state trooper patrols, etc. It got so bad in Missouri that they finally closed the loophole that saw the agency that took the money getting to keep 80%, not turning over to the education fund as they were supposed to do.
Asset Forfeiture programs are certainly something that need more scrutiny (good luck running up against the Drug War warriors) but let's focus our attention on the real issues not the Fox blown out of proportion one of supposed Ron Paul supporter harassment.
By the way, I don't think dude will be carrying around that much cash anymore now that everyone knows he carries it around in a box. And a expensive fancy 27 minute hi-def recording capacity phone.

K9 said...

moi, did you know that people are selling their horses to slaughter in the southwest because they cant afford them? i dont know if you can afford to house a horse but i read there are groups of cowboys going to the glue auctions buying them up. I got an S.O.S. from a girl in blue ridge looking for someone to just take in her horse. i wish i could. i cant afford fencing.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

there's something about the way he elected not to explain himself and the way he recorded the whole conversation on his iPhone that leads me to think that he might have been milking the situation for publicity.

plus there's the whole constitutional party affiliation thing...

having said that, there's no doubt in my mind that the TSA (or frankly, most policey-type groups in authority positions) were thuggish and inappropriate. it's what they teach. It's how they do their job. I think they argue that the only way to get the bad mans to 'fess up is if they bully them.

moi said...

Shamu: Certainly, that's the impression I got, especially after listening to the whole audiotape. Still, doesn't make it okey dokey. Just because drug dealers carry around large amounts of cash doesn't mean that everyone else who does is one as well. And while we're on the subject of "planets," on what planet does anyone regard $4,700 as a large drug haul? The whole thing is just ridiculous.

K9: My neighbor (Maddie's ex-owner) is in the same boat. He has two horses that a couple of us in the neighborhood are looking after, but they're awfully lonely and I feel terrible for their plight. There is no room at any of our rescue inns.

Pirate: It does seem a little too convenient that he had this phone. Still, I'm all for anyone getting away with shedding light on this kind of bullshit. Arrest him, then. But this nebulous "detainment" and subsequent bullying? Smacks of lil teensy brains. The one thing our law still guarantees is that we're all innocent until proven guilty.

Big Shamu said...

I certainly agree it's not okie dokey but like the Dread Pirate said, it's how the police agencies think. They certainly don't teach them that everyone is innocent. Add money to the mix and it ramps the thuggery up a level.
Times are tough Moi, even for the drug dealers. Who knows how much you can buy for $4,700?

kmwthay said...

Ok - I take issue with this on the following reason: Apparently St. Louis Airport and TSA will let any ole Joe Schmoe be an interrogator of "suspicious passengers".

Maybe if they hired some people who were knowledgeable of the law, the rights of the detainee, or just someone with a flippin high school education, this poor kid wouldn't have had to endure such nonsense.

And really, what it sounded like to me, was that the 'enforcement officers' were just really pissed that this 25 year old kid was way smarter than them, and in turn, caused them to revert back to their middle-school bully days to try to find out what they wanted to know.

I bet they weren't taking him to the police station. I bet they were going to try to find a locker to shove him in, after giving the kid a wedgie.

:::shaking my head in disgust:::

This kid did good though. I’m too much of a smart ass, and tend to not think about consequences before speaking. There is a lot I would have said to those idiots that probably would have landed me at the police station.

moi said...

Shamu: A couple of really REALLY posh dog beds, for one.

kwmthay: You know, some better training would of course help in instances like this. But what do you figure on the going rate for a TSA rent-a-thug? Fifteen bucks an hour? Which just begs the case for putting ONE highly trained person on the job who has CLEAR instructions on what to look for. In other words I could give a rat's patootie that some drug dealer is carrying his loot onto my plane. Some yippee skippy jihadist with a bomb or weapon? Another story entirely.

Boxer said...

If anyone worried about profiling, they can forget it - the kid looks like Howdy Doody. I completely understand Shamu's point about drug money and the fact that he's a politically affiliated man with a camera phone... BUT, when is it illegal to carry cash? Sure, it could be for drug laundering/buying/selling, but as Moi said, their TONE was scary they completely ignored his questions about what his legal rights were. That's what alarms me about this whole situation.

"Cash is privacy, Cash is freedom"

Not any more.

However, on the way to Palm Springs, my (idiot) BIL forgot he was wearing a necklace and watch and was moved over to the "special area". The TSA Agent was gracious and actually funny. It was as good an encounter as one could have as they have their hand on your ass.

Boxer said...

P.S. Homeless people take better care of their pets and the animals get to be with their owner 24/7. It breaks my heart to think of anyone being separated from their beloved pet. There's a homeless man and his dog that lives behind my vitamin store. I'm taking that dog a bag of dog food tonight on the way home.

moi said...

Boxer: Just because I own a car, doesn't mean I'm necessarily going to use it to run over my idiot neighbor. Just because I have a full set of steak knives, doesn't mean I'm going to carve up the bank teller and steal her money. And so on and so on.

Remind me to tell you my homeless man and five dogs (two pits) story . . .

CHEF TROLL said...

Obamanation TSA Thug: Why do you have 4700 in Cash? What are you going to do with 4700 in Cash?

Troll: I'm going to a Legal and Constitutionally-Protected Privately-Run Gun Show in my Sovereign State where I will spend it all on guns and equipment. Then my law-abiding friends and I who have exercised the Constitutionally protected right of free association by forming a Militia Group will practice war-games on privately-owned lands. The War-Games are co-sponsored by The Sons of the Confederacy. You gotta problem with any of that, asshat?"

moi said...


It is at this point, I believe, that a lil' bit of Atlas, Shrugging, is in order:

There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be enforced nor objectively interpreted—and you create a nation of law-breakers—and then you cash in on guilt.

CHEF TROLL said...

Troll's Speech Continues: If there's any money leftover after I buy a bunch of guns and knives, I'm going to give it to my Church. We believe our founder was a Prophet who translated ancient texts by putting them in a magic hat. He believed men should have multiple wives and people like Obama are descendants of Cain and that the "mark of Cain" was black skin. And that they won't be allowed to join our Church. He also believed that the Catholic Church was a "great abomination" and that Catholics shouldn't be allowed to emigrate to America.

Now, tell me, asshat, is my name on a No-Fly list? Did a background check show that I have any criminal record? Is there anything I just told you about my 4700 dollar spending plans and religious beliefs that preclude me from flying?"

Anonymous said...

I nearly had same comin' home from Gaul.


NYD said...

Due to the past frequency of my travels in and out of the States, I have had more than my fair share of run ins with the TSA and Homeland security. They make returning to America one helluva crappy experience. I have gotten all kinds of shit as to why I don't live in the country and even why my wife isn't American. I can only say that I'm glad someone finally caught theit bullshit on tape.

moi said...

ChefTroll: The asshats prolly wouldn't know a real threat if it bit 'em on their overstuffed butts.

Aunty: I believe it.

NYD: I'd like to believe YOU are kidding, but I don't think you are. Do these people receive any training whatsoever?