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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:37 AM

 

Living in a Police State- The Airport Experience

Having just spent ten days in Italy, a country where you didn't even have to show your passport on heading to baggage claim, much less fill out a form indicating what items you purchased before entering the country, and the agricultural products you might be sneaking in, I was utterly astonished, upon my return flight, to be shown a 20 minute film "Welcome to the USA" which hammered home to me how far along the path to becoming a police state we have traveled.

This film, after presenting inspiring images which show what a multiracial, multicultural country we have become, suddenly starts indicating to travelers all the different forms they have to fill out, all the lines they have to pass through, all the documents they have to show, and all the occasions upon which they or their luggage might be searched upon getting to their baggage claim or a connecting flight. Each of these steps is accompanied by a picture of a grim faced border control agent, ready to protect the nation against disease, economic sabotage, terrorism, organized crime, and God knows what else.

The entire effect of the film was to present the United States of America as a nation under siege, fearful not only of visitors, but its own citizens. I felt insulted, embarrassed and frightened. What kind of country have we become? Why are we afraid of so many things? What are we protecting?

And all the multicultural imagery that began and ended the film could not prevent a chill from running through me as I returned to the country where I was born and where I live.

http://withabrooklynaccent.blogspot.com/2013/01/living-in-police-state-airport.html

37 replies, 2388 views

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Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply Living in a Police State- The Airport Experience (Original post)
HiPointDem Feb 2013 OP
Heidi Feb 2013 #1
The Straight Story Feb 2013 #6
Heidi Feb 2013 #11
Melinda Feb 2013 #19
The Straight Story Feb 2013 #20
The Straight Story Feb 2013 #21
hootinholler Feb 2013 #24
Auggie Feb 2013 #28
Bonobo Feb 2013 #2
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #26
Chathamization Feb 2013 #3
Scuba Feb 2013 #4
RZM Feb 2013 #23
glowing Feb 2013 #5
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #16
joeunderdog Feb 2013 #7
The Straight Story Feb 2013 #8
LisaLynne Feb 2013 #12
randome Feb 2013 #13
joeunderdog Feb 2013 #36
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #17
fasttense Feb 2013 #9
lovemydog Feb 2013 #14
nc4bo Feb 2013 #18
ChisolmTrailDem Feb 2013 #32
The Wizard Feb 2013 #10
flamingdem Feb 2013 #15
GoneOffShore Feb 2013 #27
uponit7771 Feb 2013 #22
L0oniX Feb 2013 #25
EastKYLiberal Feb 2013 #29
ohheckyeah Feb 2013 #30
Smilo Feb 2013 #31
GoneOffShore Feb 2013 #33
ChisolmTrailDem Feb 2013 #34
Fight2Win Feb 2013 #35
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #37

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:46 AM

1. I flew out of Malpensa last winter to visit the US for the first time after living for a decade

in Switzerland. I don't recall seeing the "Welcome to the USA" video during the direct flight to the US; maybe it would have prepared me for the culture shock. A lot has changed (extremely understatement).

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Response to Heidi (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:57 AM

6. Link to video:



Apparently they have been showing it on some flights from I was able to gather.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:55 AM

11. Thank you. I was wrong. That would NOT have prepared me for the changes that have taken place

since I moved to Switzerland.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:31 AM

19. Unfortunately this short film is images and music only - any chance you could fnd the full video?

I appreciate this one, and if I had the time I'd look for the full video. Late for work as it is, but if you reply either way, it'll remind me to search when I get home. Beautiful imagery, too bad there is no dialogue... I'm guessing that's the chilling part. Thanks SS.

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Response to Melinda (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:32 AM

20. Will do! Check back for updates. (nt)

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Response to Melinda (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:36 AM

21. Check this one:

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #21)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:12 PM

24. I will tonight. n/t

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:27 PM

28. Where are the homeless people?

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:53 AM

2. The Reverse Shock I experience returning to America leaves me stunned.

Every single time.

Going from Tokyo and arriving in O'Hare for example, it is impossible not to feel stunned by the poor service, poor manners and heavy-handed manner of American airport employees.

It leaves me stunned and I dread the next time I do it.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:18 PM

26. And it just gets worse ... n/t

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:27 AM

3. It's sickening.

I wish there was an option for people who weren't scared 24/7 to fly on flights without these security measures. I always opt for the pat-down instead of the nudie scanner when I fly, and often chat with the agents. They don't really fill me with a lot of confidence - for example, the last one I talked to said that he didn't like doing pat-downs because he could only give them to men, not women.

These days it seems like our leaders like to talk about courage while encouraging cowardice.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:48 AM

4. They're trying to discourage foreign travel by Americans. Better we don't know ...

... that those awful socialist countries have it way better than we do.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:40 AM

23. So it's a grand conspiracy to discourage Americans from flying to 'socialist countries?'

 

That is complete nonsense.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:53 AM

5. Italy surprised the heck out of me. I was wondering when I'd go thru some sort of security or get

my passport stamped (it had been stamped for Spain, Germany, and England, even though 2 of those countries I never left the airport, just transferred). I kept waiting for one of the machine-weaponed guards to stop my sister and me somewhere for missing some sort of security check.... Never happended, and as we learned, the weapons were more like a "uniform" item and that the one's who wore them weren't thought of too highly. There were 2 types of policing agents. It was very interesting. I wish that every American who wished to travel abroad to any country in their Senior year, could. It would be eye opening and make people, in general, less aprehensive about "non-Americans". I would def think it would be harder to lie about all those European-socialist agendas.

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Response to glowing (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:12 AM

16. The irony is that for at least a couple of decades, Italy (especially Rome)

was the epicenter of airline terrorism and smuggling due to so many notorious security holes...

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:01 AM

7. Watching my disabled 80-yr old in-laws get brazenly frisked was disgusting.

They are philanthropists (they have helped to save terminally sick children for 40 years), too old to hurt anyone and they have knee replacements that set off the metal detectors.

Shameful.

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Response to joeunderdog (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:12 AM

8. One has to understand the mindset now

everyone, all our fellow citizens, are suspects. The government is, of course, not suspect in anything and if you say they are you are now part of the 'bad guys'.

The avg person is not shooting others, hijacking planes, using drones on innocents, starting wars and assassinating people the world over.

But we are made to think the avg person might because we sell fear over common sense. If you want control, you have to have something people fear that you can assure them you will protect them from.

I see it here every day on du (when it comes to gun owners/etc) and on other web pages when it comes to muslims, etc and so on.

Everyone is peddling fear of their fellow man (and there are some to be feared) to a point we are all suspicious of one another.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:59 AM

12. Yes, very true.

It keeps us afraid of each other, divided, focused on our neighbors instead of the corporations or our government and easily controlled.

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Response to joeunderdog (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:03 AM

13. Is there another way to frisk someone?

I agree our current system is way too paranoid but think about it: if you were trying to sneak something past security -as a terrorist- wouldn't you get an older person to do it for you? Maybe someone with a fake artificial knee, even?

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Response to randome (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:14 PM

36. I'm having a hard time justifying seeing TSA grabbing an elderly man's package in open view

and a matronly woman's cups in the interest in national security. Why not a cavity search, for that matter? Why stop at an R-rated pat down? Hypothetically, they could be smuggling anything!!!

I suppose anyone's free to rationalize this any way they want. It's disgusting.

And when's the last time a senior citizen has EVER been involved in a terrorist act on an airline? EVER?

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Response to joeunderdog (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:17 AM

17. What's sad is how many Americans overwhelmingly supported this stuff back in 2002

But they also thought back then that only the "funny-looking foreigners" would be subjected to it...

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:35 AM

9. To answer your questions Why are we afraid of so many things? What are we protecting?

First We The People are NOT afraid, it's them the rulers who are afraid.

Think about how our country is ruled by corporations. These corporations are NOT run by machines. A handful of rich men at the head of them are temporarily hired to be their CEOs and executives. But these CEOs don't think of themselves as temporary hires. They think they are the special elite, chosen by God or destiny to have all the money they could ever want, and to use that money to buy power. They look down on anyone who wasn't born into their same privileges and think of the poor and middle class as animals.

They know what they are doing is wrong. They know poisoning the planet, destroying democracy, swindling and conning vulnerable people out of their small wealth is immoral, unsustainable and sick. But they have done it for so long to so many people they can't and wont stop themselves. They are addicted to power and never ending streams of risk free wealth.

They are afraid the people they see as animals will retaliate against them. Just like the slave owner who was constantly afraid the slave would rise up and kill him and his family, these handful of men are constantly afraid We The People will rise up and seek revenge. So, they are constantly hiring people to protect them and their possessions. They are constantly looking for ways to control the mass of people who hate them for their evil ways. They are constantly feed the masses propaganda to keep them in their place. They are constantly trying to make sure they weed out those who may strike against them because they know they are wrong in what they have done.

And they are right. Many, many, people hate them and want to be rid of them.

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Response to fasttense (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:06 AM

14. I take pleasure

knowing I'm happier & less afraid than them. And I sleep well at night.

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Response to fasttense (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:20 AM

18. This should be an OP in GD.

It really cuts to the real problem in this country and explains it extremely well.

I guess it reads so unbelievably simple for so many people that it just couldn't possibly be true, but it is.

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Response to fasttense (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:50 PM

32. I would wager that the majority of big corporate CEOs have at some

point committed a major crime* during their rise to corporate power.

*I don't believe this is the case with a majority of CEOs at smaller companies.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:42 AM

10. Fear is a great

revenue generator. Why is there's always some bogeyman just waiting to attack America? It's all part of the Military Industrial Media Complex that effectively separates Americans from their money. Promoting fear has been an American tradition since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. And we've been on a war footing ever since. The events of 9-11-01 exacerbated that fear. Funny how the Oklahoma City bombing by right wing white supremacists is hardly mentioned.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:12 AM

15. We need to organize against TSA power

I've never been treated so poorly in my country than I have by TSA agents who tried to ripoff my laptop and abused me and delayed me because I won't submit to be radiated by the backscatter machines.

Now they're admitting those machines were bogus. They've caught many criminals at the TSA but many remain.

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:24 PM

27. There have been more TSA clerks who are crooks

Then the TSA has caught bad guys.

It's a sham of an agency with a lot of "mission creep" - And a lot of the creeps work for TSA - otherwise known as:

Thieves Stealing Anything

Taking Sense Away

Thousands Standing Around

Touchy Search Agents

Thwarts Shampooing Aloft

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:37 AM

22. Saw the same thing coming back from Jamaica; Police dogs, unhappy agents, long lines bunch of grim

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:15 PM

25. ..and still ...you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning than attacked by some terrorist.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:31 PM

29. It is a hassle, but policies should only be changed when an alternative is presented...

 

That achieves the same results.

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Response to EastKYLiberal (Reply #29)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:45 PM

30. What would those results you are referring to

be?

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Response to EastKYLiberal (Reply #29)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:47 PM

31. The same results?

“Not on my watch”: 50 Failures of TSA’s Transportation Security Officers
http://blackburn.house.gov/uploadedfiles/blackburn_tso_report.pdf


We should be doing so much better. As for the way they treat people - it is truly disgusting - in their eyes we are not people, we do not matter - all they see are "cattle" to be herded and prodded. A smile is something that is unknown and courtesy is something totally foreign to them.

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Response to EastKYLiberal (Reply #29)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:55 PM

33. It's beyond a "hassle"

It's a violation of the First and Fourth Amendments.

And it's making the Surveillance Industry billions.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:07 PM

34. You know, what really gets to me is how we

is we have these logically destructive things that happen in our culture and we embrace them and make them a part of our lives and our policies and our temperament. Our nation is gripped by one fear or another and we have manifested these fears as an accepted part of our lives; instead of rejecting the negatives we are embracing them and making them into our identity.

I can think of three examples: 9/11 leads to security/police state. Mass killings incite fear among gun owners that their guns will be seized and anti-gun people fear the guns, gun owners, and the gun owners' efforts to secure even more weapons due to their fear of their guns being siezed. And, third, technology has contributed to a withdrawal into ourselves with cell phones, computers, and videos and video games. None of these are positive cultural traits yet we not only enable them, we accept them as normal parts of our lives.

Just look at politics. We have accepted corruption in the local school board all the way up to the White House as a normal part of the American experience.

Why? Why do we allow these negatives to become the accepted norm?

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:29 PM

35. what pisses me off is they are wasting our treasury without being audited

 

not only are they violating our constitution, they are considered part of government that is allowed a huge slush fund with no accountability...

The Government Accountability Office said Thursday that it could not complete an audit of the federal government, pointing to serious problems with the Department of Defense.

Along with the Pentagon, the GAO cited the Department of Homeland Security as having problems so significant that it was impossible for investigators to audit it. The DHS got a qualified audit for fiscal year 2012, and is seeking an unqualified audit for 2013.


meanwhile they blame seniors and people on welfare for the debt.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:20 PM

37. Insulted, embarrassed and frightened. Exactly.

 


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