Tuesday, December 07, 2010

US to Host World Press Freedom Day

It's been an interesting couple of weeks. Coming back from Dulles Airport, I was pornoscanned by the TSA. This is a device that, among other things, takes an image of your vulva and shows it to some guy hidden a few feet away. If he gets a nice shot of your vulva (and your breasts, or if male, your glans penis and testicles) he says "Clear!" into the headphones of the government employee who has just taught you how to stand to have your genitals photographed (with hands up in the air, slightly together, in the international gesture of "I surrender"), and you can get on a flight.

If it doesn't take a good picture of your vulva, you are directed somewhere else so that someone can finger your labia instead. That happened to this woman, who was wearing a cloth sanitary towel. Since the pornoscanner-personing dude was unable to get a good look at her genitals, she was directed to someone else who felt them instead. She wasn't happy. A lot of people aren't happy. The litany of people who have been groped, or had their children groped, or been asked to remove their post-cancer reconstruction breast prosthetic, or take off their artificial limb, or cut off their nipple ring with pliers, or been "patted down" (had their genitals felt) while in a wheel chair is growing. All to get on a plane, when any terrorist has to know that it's easier to take down a cargo plane, if all you want to do is take down a plane.

I went to the gym for the first time in months. I've had a bad knee and slobbed around rather than exercising. When I got there, they asked for my fingerprint. My fingerprint - to get in my $10 a month gym!

Today, Britain arrested Julian Assange, the public face of WikiLeaks. There was an international warrant out for him, based on outstanding charges in Sweden that have nothing to do with the "leaks". He was remanded in custody (not allowed to post bail). At the gym I listened to Bill O'Reilly crowing that his goose was as good as cooked, as once he was extradited to Sweden, that country would gladly extradite him to the United States to face charges. Not that he's been charged with anything in the states. There have been calls for him to be murdered, though. And calls to try him for treason. (Tip: you can't charge a foreign national with treason. They actually know that, but are presumably unable to think of a country outside of the US that has English speaking blonds in it. The world, as you know, is divided into Murricans and brown guys who either hate our freedom or want to take our jobs, or both.)

Steve Audio, December 6th (I can't get the site to give me a permalink, so that will scroll down the page) has a roundup of the various calls for Assange's prosecution, and the companies that have cut him off under pressure (in PayPal's case, caving after receiving orders from the government and confiscating the money as well).

The New York Times checked the cables they published with the US government to ensure they were harmless before publishing.


And after all that, boingboing tells me that the US is to host the next World Press Freedom Day.

Congratulations, America! It couldn't happen to a freer country!

1 comment:

rashid1891 said...

I went to the gym for the first time in months. I've had a bad knee and slobbed around rather than exercising. When I got their, they asked for my fingerprint. My fingerprint - to get in my $10 a month gym!

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
I sometimes mention a product on this blog, and I give a URL to Amazon or similar sites. Just to reassure you, I don't get paid to advertise anything here and I don't get any money from your clicks. Everything I say here is because I feel like saying it.