Voices from Russia

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Do You Want to Know HOW Stupid Republicans Are? Homer Simpson TSA Goons Arrested Guy for “Arabic Flash Cards”… D’oh!

01 homer x-ray brain

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Nick George was a student flying from Philadelphia to start his senior year of college in California. However, when a TSA operative found his Arabic language flash cards, they arrested the 21-year-old. He sued and his five-year ordeal is now ending. TSA agents also found a book critical of George W Bush’s foreign policy he was carrying to be worthy of greater scrutiny. Rogue Nation was by former Reagan Administration Commerce Secretary Clyde Prestowitz and widely read in the USA.

George planned to get a jump on his Arabic class by reviewing some vocabulary. When he emptied his pockets at the security checkpoint, he pulled out the stack of flashcards. An agent inspected them. George wrote on the ACLU website (which helped George in his lawsuit), “One of them started rifling through the cards, and another took the book out of my carry-on. The minutes ticked by, and I got more confused about why I was being detained and more concerned that I’d miss my flight. One of them called a supervisor”. The supervisor took a half-hour to arrive. When she asked, “Do you know who did 9/11?” “Taken totally aback, I answered, ‘Osama Bin Laden’”. Then, the supervisor asked if George knew what language Osama Bin Laden spoke. He replied, “Arabic”. She responded, “So, do you see why these cards are suspicious?”

George later wrote, “Imagine going from being in-line at the airport to having a TSA supervisor imply you had some connection with the worst act of terrorism ever committed against your country… all over the course of a few minutes”. Then, a Philadelphia cop showed up. George recounted, “He cuffed my hands, grabbed my arms, and, in full view of the rest of the passengers, walked me through the entire Philadelphia airport and into the police substation”. The cops held him handcuffed in a cell for several hours, long having missed his connecting flight. Police never informed him of his rights or gave him a specific charge.

George says he hopes the settlement this week will make these “arbitrary arrests” outdated by requiring the Philadelphia police department to train cops to find probable cause before making an arrest. In short, they can’t arrest someone for studying Arabic or reading a book. George said, “It should go without saying that this is perfectly innocuous First Amendment-protected activity. I hope the Philadelphia police got the message”. The city also settled for 25,000 USD (1.6 million Roubles. 156,000 Renminbi. 1.54 million INR. 31,000 CAD. 31,600 AUD. 22,300 Euros. 16,700 UK Pounds) in damages.

24 January 2015

Sputnik International

http://us.sputniknews.com/us/20150124/1013555473.html

Editor:

The Department of Homeland Insecurity often attracts an unhinged rightwing lot, especially, Mormons and the woollier sort of Cuban-American. One of my friends has the family name “George”… she’s Syrian by descent… gee, perhaps Nick George was Syrian or Lebanese (I know of four families in Toledo with the name “George”… it’s a COMMON Christian Arab surname)… so, these Einstein TSA goons thought that he was a “terrorist”. Hey, he “looked Arabic”… we all know that all of those “ragheads” are terrorists! Rush and Sarah say so! This is the result of Republican hate speech spewed by rightwing pundits over the years. Anyone who attends to such shit-spewers makes Homer Simpson look like a rocket scientist. That’s that…

BMD

Saturday, 2 November 2013

2 November 2013. Sergei Yolkin’s World. The FSB is Watching YOU

00 Sergei Yolkin. The FSB is Watching You. 2013

The FSB is Watching YOU

Sergei Yolkin

2013

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Here’s proof that there’s freedom of speech in Russia (perhaps, more so than in the politically-correct USA). Let those with eyes see the truth of the matter!

BMD

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Kommersant reported that the Federal Security Service (FSB) wants to control as much information as it can on the InternetSergei Yolkin sees it this way…

21 October 2013

Sergei Yolkin

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/caricature/20131021/971504285.html

Editor’s Note:

Most of the repressive measures (TSA, PRISM, Guantánamo, and “extreme rendition” anyone?) in the USA came in after 9/11, at the hands of the “conservative” Bush administration. Bush was about as “conservative” as Adolf Hitler was (and favoured the Affluent Effluent just as blatantly)… and both of them waged aggressive war in foreign parts. Fancy that…

Look at Yolkin; then, look at the CNN/Fox News duopoly (they’re NOT polar opposites… they’re two sides of the same debased and corroded coin). I rest my case…

BMD

Thursday, 19 January 2012

19 January 2012. This is Only the First Battle in the War to Take Away Your Freedom

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Read this.

They want to take away your freedom so that the powers-that-be can stuff their boodle bags with more swag. Both political parties are in on this, but the main force behind internet censorship (for that’s what it is) is the Republican Party. After all, they brought you the pleasures of the TSA, the “permanent warfare” state, supply-side economics, and “welfare reform”… this is of a piece with all that. However, the “Democrats” and “progressives” are almost as bad. They believe that we’re ignorant and in need of “direction”… the GOP believes that we’re immoral and in need of “conversion”… not much to choose between the two, wot?

SOPA and PIPA are unashamedly Luddite in their intent. Information transfer no longer hinges on presses, TV studios, or radio towers… it’s in the people’s hands. Today, individuals have access to informational transfer technology that one could only find in the most sophisticated media studios as short as ten years ago. To try to stop this is like mandating people to wear periwigs or to compel them to buy buggy whips (both of which were tried, and failed, by the way).

Truly, the internet does give “power to the people”, and it scares the bejezus out of many in the political, media, and economic apparats. “Information IS power”… the apparats know it, and the shift in “informational access” threatens to destroy their present arrangement. They will NOT go quietly into that dark night. They’ll DENY, DENY, DENY. We’ll have to protect our rights until the corporate media machine chokes to death on its own irrelevance. There’ll always be a “media”… but it’ll be more diffuse and free. That’s the main challenge of our modern time… how to responsibly use this new means of expression… but shall we? Only time will tell us…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 19 January 2012

Albany NY

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

6 December 2011. Three Grandmas Strip-Searched at JFK… Bush’s Legacy… If You Want a Police State WORSE Than That, Vote Republican in 2012

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Bush’s Folly… the TSA… is at it again. Read this. Got it? If you have a colostomy bag, expect to be searched by Bush’s Gestapo. This is all part of that post-9/11 Frenzy. Barack Obama did NOT found the TSA. George Bush did. Since I’ve had some experience with the TSA hiring process, it seemed to me that they were trying to winnow out anyone with a brain or initiative… they were looking for numskulls (most of the people working for the TSA aren’t brain-dead… but that’s what the system’s looking for). It’s not the rank n’ filers’ fault… they have to read off “scripts” and aren’t allowed any leeway whatsoever. I’m told that agents have ludicrous SOPs to follow… dreamed up by the paranoid Bushite apparat. In short, the Bush-era founder of the agency was an incompetent dolt, and their legacy’s the sclerotic system that we see now. As the ABC News article points up quite rightly:

A senior law enforcement official who has worked at New York‘s JFK airport for years told ABC News that the incidents expose the security agency to mockery. This senior official said, “Any law enforcement professional with any time experience would tell you that if you can’t tell the difference between an 80-year-old with a health issue and someone who might need further screening, then, this kind of behaviour makes us the laughing stock of law enforcement worldwide. These [passengers] were only guilty of buying a ticket”.

The War on Terror is as much an expensive folly as the War on Drugs is. Note well that the War on Drugs is going to continue as it enriches corrupt politicians and cops, and the War on Terror continues because it benefits corrupt politicians and corporations. Ike was right… none dare call it treason… attend to another part of his speech:

We … must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

If you vote for the Republican Party, you “live only for today, plundering for [your] own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow”. The Bush legacy is war, depression, and class war (of the rich against all others). If you vote Republican, you want MORE of that. Do you want an America where they can pull you off the street into indefinite detention? Even at the depth of the Great Purges, the USSR never sank that low. Yet, that’s what the Republican Party wants. Only one other country used such methods of detention… Nazi Germany. Is that what you want? Both the Republican Party and the Nazi Party wanted a “New World Order”… doesn’t the identity of terminology just make your blood run  cold?

The TSA is a symptom… not the disease. Yet, it does warn us of what MAY be. We are like Scrooge and the Three Spirits. “Tell me, Spirit, that these are the shadows of what MAY be, not those of what MUST be”. It needn’t be…. but we must REFUSE to vote Republican under ANY circumstance. That’s fundamental… to forestall evil, you must refuse to opt for it. We have NO other choice.

Note to Russian Orthodox people:

Jonas Paffhausen is speaking tonight at the Far Right American Enterprise Institute. JP spits on the actual opinion of the Church as His Holiness has spoken it. He does NOT represent the real position of the Church. His Holiness has called the present Free Market system a fraud, and that’s that. I apologise for this charlatan’s misrepresentation of what we stand for.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 6 January 2011

Albany NY 

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