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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Policing The State For False Security

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

There are those who are fine with giving up their liberty of personal space and privacy for a little temporary safety but what they seem to forget is that these Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) screening procedures do not protect them and that their rights will not be given back once taken. We've heard of the multiple of accounts of different cancer survivors being groped and humiliated. Accounts of children being strip searched and felt up by TSA agents. In any other instance, this would all be considered sexual assault, but the Government believes it can do as it wishes and all in the name of your safety.

We've come to a point where the main enemy isn't terrorist but ourselves. Our government is doing more damage than terrorist have ever done. After September 11th, America came together and although we were in mourning, we didn't feel violated or traumatized as much as we do now. And when asked if there is a better solution, our President and Director of the TSA say that there isn't, when there are proven methods that say otherwise.

In fact, the TSA screening process wasn't the original plan. According to TSA officials, security officers at major airports across the country would be trained to use “casual conversation” to flush out possible terrorists. Instructors would first teach officers what suspicious behaviors to look for in travelers. These can include nervousness, wearing a big coat in the summer or reluctance to make eye contact with law enforcement. Then, the officers carry on a supposedly casual conversation with passengers in hopes of spotting possible terrorists or to determine whether further scrutiny of a passenger is required. This would have been a welcomed program by those in law enforcement who’ve said for years that psychological profiling should be used by airport security staff.

Most police officers and investigators are familiar with the concept since it’s used during the interrogation and interview process to detect deception on the part of the subject. Without going into too much detail, interrogators or interviewers, while questioning a subject about the matter at hand, are observing body language, eye contact, breathing, physical characteristics such as dry mouth or profuse perspiration, and other criteria.

However, the Washington-based Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) officials claimed that the new guidelines, under which anyone traveling from or through 13 Muslim-majority nations will be required to go through enhanced screening techniques before boarding flights, will disproportionately target American Muslims who have family or spiritual ties to the Islamic world and therefore amount to religious and ethnic profiling.

“Under these new guidelines, almost every American Muslim who travels to see family or friends or goes on pilgrimage to Mecca will automatically be singled out for special security checks — that’s profiling,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Yes, profiling is the answer that many of us are saying we want. Look at the Israeli airline El Al. They do psychological profiling and it has never had an attack since it's establishment in 1948. Seriously, a nation that has been threatened that it would be wiped off the face of the earth never having a terrorist attack on its planes.

“While singling out travelers based on religion and national origin may make some people feel safer, it only serves to alienate and stigmatize Muslims and does nothing to improve airline security,” he said.

No where in any of the description of psychological profiling was there any mention of race or national origin. It talked about looking for nervousness and body language. Seems CAIR needs to get its facts straight if it's going to attempt to discredit a method.

But alas, Obama and the TSA basically listened to CAIR and went with a different method, one more intrusive than profiling ever could be. And when people cry for proven methods such as dogs or profiling, TSA and Obama simply say that they wouldn't work and that you'll have to suffer through the screening that they don't have to go through.

So, the question becomes how do we get out of this predicament. Well, 32 members of Congress have sent letters to the President and TSA Director John Pistole about the intrusive methods. But the real answer lies within the airports themselves. Having TSA at airports is not a mandatory thing, airports can opt-out of TSA and hire a private firm for their security. So, we must put pressure on airports to do so. We also must urge airlines to do the same as they will lose business by the amount of people who will refuse to fly because of these screening methods. As all things important and as the founders believed above all else, the answers always lie within the people, "We the People" hold the power.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Standing Up To Rights Violations

More and more we see as our rights are being trampled on. We've seen cases where kids wearing T-Shirts depicting the American Flag on Cinco de Mayo were sent home from school for fear of violence happening. Well, that same school district was once again in the news this week. This time, telling a 13-year-old boy that he couldn't have the American flag on his bike.

13-year-old Cody Alicea flies a small American flag on his bike in honor of veterans like his grandfather. He's been doing so for 2 months but now the school district is telling him he can't due to "racial tensions." Cody made a comment that many adults don't say, “In this country we’re supposed to be free. And I should be able to wave my flag wherever I want to. And they‘re telling me I can’t.” Denair Middle School near Sacramento, CA with the Denair Unified School District Superintendent Edward Parraz said that while Cody does have a First Amendment right, “with that comes a responsibility.”

“Our Hispanic, you know, kids will, you know, bring their Mexican flags and they’ll display it, and then of course the kids would do the American flag situation, and it does cause kind of a racial tension which we don’t really want,” Parraz said. “We want them to appreciate the cultures.” Apparently being able to fly the American flag that men and women have died for isn't being considerate. But, after this story showed up in the news, the Denair Unified School District was flooded with calls from parents in and out of the school district complaining. After receiving so many calls, the district changed its mind and is letting Cody fly his flag and is now seeking punishment on the ones who made the complaint in the first place.

But California isn't the only state with flag controversy, Idaho has some too. Steve and Robin Perfect just had their son, Sgt. Edward Nadler, go to Iraq. To honor him, the bought an American flag to display on the front of their condominium. Copper Ranch Condominiums and many residence told the Perfects' that they couldn't fly their flag and that they had to take it down. “We’ve been harassed and hassled for the past two months, and we’re all stressed,” Robin said. “It’s bad enough that my only son is going to Iraq — now I have to worry about this.”

The Home Owner's Association (HOA) has told the Perfects' that the flag is in violation of policy. “It’s about items in the common area,” Property manager Brian Emerick said. “And, tenants are not allowed to place items in the common area … [including] any number of things, bird houses, wind chimes, anything.” A day after putting the flag up, Steve received a call from Lido Equities, the national California-based company that leases the condo they rent. The representative, he said, told him she received complaints about his American flag and said that flying it made it appear that he was “supporting the war.” She said he should think about being more considerate to his neighbors and ask them if they objected to the flag.

As stupid and unfree as that sounds, Steve obliged and asked some neighbors for their opinion.

He started with a neighbor from across the street who had been a dinner guest of the Perfects before and who had even looked after their condo during a spring trip to Mexico.

According to Steve, he asked the neighbor if she had any problems with him hanging the American flag. The response, he went on to explain, could be considered a resounding “yes.” “Yes I f****** God d*** do!” Steve said she shouted. She continued: “You know what, you take your f****** flag and move out and hang it in your little house, ’cause [the flag] is on common ground and you can’t hang it there.” Sounds like a wonderful person.

After numerous request from the HOA to remove the flag, the Perfects stood strong and refused to do so. Robin responded to the request by quoting an e-mail she received from Idaho U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, which outlined the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005. That law says “a condominium association … may not adopt or enforce any policy … that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use.”

The response from the HOA, they ignored the letter and the law. In response to this long battle, the Perfects' have move the flag from the front of their porch to a spot next to their door since one of the complaints was that the flag was hanging over the sidewalk. The HOA says that it's still in violation and that either the flag be removed or the Perfects' will be forced out. We need to flood this place with calls in support of the Perfects' just like the school district. To contact Property manager Brian Emerick, call (208)788-2654.

Now to the east coast in New York. An upstate New York elementary school is only doing a partial pledge in the mornings. Despite many pleas for the full pledge, the North Collins Central School District is allowing only 6 words of the pledge to be said. "I pledge allegiance to the flag" will be heard over the intercom at North Collins Elementary School, but then the sound system will shut off and the students will finish the pledge in class at their own pace, Ben Halsey, superintendent of North Collins Central School District said.

"It has been the philosophy of the building that the pledge does indeed get recited every day, but it gets recited by teachers and students individually, so the pace is appropriate for their level," Halsey said. "The public address system simply serves as a prompt to start the pledge." He said the practice enables students to recite the pledge at their own pace, which is typically slower for younger students. Dozens of people, including a board member who resigned over the controversy, attended a school board meeting Tuesday night to plead to have the pledge recited in its entirety over the school's intercom. The former board member, Rosemarie Troidl, resigned on Oct. 26 after fielding what she said was a growing number of complaints from parents and residents about the pledge.

Now for the most revealing part of the story. Upon hearing about this controversy, I went to the North Collins Central School District website to get their phone number and complain like I had with the Denair Unified School District. Upon getting to their website, I found their mission statement which is very interesting. It reads:

"The North Collins Central School District is a safe and supportive learning environment that strives to maximize educational opportunities for all students, faculty, staff and community members. We nurture responsibility, creativity, energy, and open-mindedness to empower successful contributors to a global society."

The school district doesn't seem very open-minded and seems they are going for a New World Order with the indoctrination of students for a global society. I called the Superintendent about the mission statement of the district, I got a voice mail and left a message. I have to receive a call back.

These are things we are facing in our society. It may not directly happen to you but it's like legislation. If a Congressman or Senator from another state votes to lock you in your home, his or her vote effects you just as much as their constituents. If the above acts were ruled to be okay, they could just as easily be done against you and based on that previous ruling, then found to be fine when done to you. We must stand up and be involved in legislation and DC issues, but we must also stand up and be involved and ethical issues around the country as well. We can not let people's rights be trampled on. So, I encourage you, for the above stories and any other stories you see where people's rights are being violated, find a number those responsible and call them and let them know that they are wrong and that we are standing against them on it. Who knows, you could get them to change their mind just like the case of Cody and his American flag in the Denair Unified School District.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why Not Having The Senate Is Good

Last night's elections was a historic moment in our country. It was the American people standing up and saying they are tired of the socialist agenda. That they want real change and not politics as usual. Republicans gained control of the House and the Democrats will keep control of the Senate, with a few elections in both still being determined. Now obviously the Democrats hold the Presidency and so the question that comes is what will happen now.

My prediction is this, with control of the House, Republicans will be able to defund Obamacare and stop the bailouts and stimulus packages. They will most likely pass a bill to repeal Obamacare but I doubt it will get through the Senate. If it does get through the Senate then Obama will veto it. The House will be able to get bills going to fund and secure our border. They'll be able to cut the funding to government agencies that should not exist. Now the question is if those bills could get through the Senate and then passed the President's desk.

Now the reason I say it's good that Republicans do not have control of the Senate is this. With control of the Senate, Republicans could get all these bills through Congress but then one of two things would happen. Either Obama would repeal them and then the message in 2012 would be that Republicans didn't fix anything, or Obama would pass these bills and take the credit for them working as Clinton did when he was President.

With Republicans only having control of the House they can get to work on defunding these bills, laws, and agencies. They can get legislation together and passed that is right and within their authority as defined in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. Now when these bills go to the Senate and fail, Republicans can have some power in 2012. Their message would be something like this:

"Look at the work we have done in the House. We have done exactly as the American said and have worked to repeal Obamcare. We've worked to secure our border and to stop the bailouts and stimulus packages and to get our economy back to a free market system. But you have not seen these things happen because the Democrat controlled Senate and the Democrat controlled White House have not let these things happen as you, American people, wanted. So we need your help this election. In 2010 you helped by taking your country back, now we need your help to take it back all the way. To get these things passed we need your help to get the Senate and the Presidency."

Now, that message sounds like the message we've heard for years from both parties. That things will be all better if we give them total control. The key difference is going to be this, if the Republicans in the House do exactly as they have promised and as we tell them. The other key is electing Senators and a President that isn't about party loyalty but is about the people. By doing that, we ensure that Republicans won't have control of the government to do business as usual.

The American people turned out yesterday and gave their voice very clearly. We are not supporting the Republican party, we are opposing Progressives and Socialist. And just as quickly as we took the Progressives out, we can take the Republicans out. As many Republicans have admitted, this is the last chance the Republican party has, so they better get it right or the Republican party will be extinct.

Our next step is to not go back to sleep but to hold their feet to the fire. We have to call them, no matter what the issue or bill coming up. Wither they support or oppose it, we have to call them and let them know what we want them to do. So make sure you have your Senators and your Representative on your contact list on your phone. You have to let them know what your want. We can not go back to sleep, we must stay engaged and make sure that our country doesn't go back to the way the Progressives have made it.