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suffragette

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member since: Mon Dec 13, 2004, 01:55 AM
Number of posts: 8,058

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TSA patrols Burnside and Apple Valley transit (bus park & rides) in Minnesota in 2012 - source MVTA

That's the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority

http://www.mvta.com/

Counterterrorism Patrol to Take Place at Regional Transit Facilities
Monday, January 30, 2012 12:15 PM
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) working within the Department of Homeland Security, will be conducting counterterrorism patrols at area transit facilities in the coming year. These patrols are NOT related to any specific incident or threat. The patrols may include agents talking to passengers, patrolling parking facilities and stepping on buses.
Agents anticipate conducting these patrols at MVTA transit facilities as well as other regional transit facilities.


Their Summer 2012 PDF notes teams have already been at these locations. See page 4:

From MVTA website: http://www.mvta.com/summer_2012_newsletter.html
Direct link: http://www.mvta.com/uploads/summer_3.pdf

Periodic Counterterrorism Patrols Under Way at Transit Facilities
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) working within the Department of Homeland Security, is conducting peri-odic counterterrorism patrols at area transit facilities in the coming year. MVTA’s Burnsville and Apple Valley Transit Stations have had teams on site during the morning or afternoon peak periods. Other regional transit facilities will also have the patrols.These patrols are NOT related to any specific incident or threat. The patrols may include agents talking to passengers, patrolling parking facilities and stepping on buses.


This is a transit authority in your own state specifying that TSA is patrolling bus transit centers.

It's also on their ABC local news. Additionally the Whitehouse has included intercity buses

specifically.


My post #62 has links about TSA VIPR and Bus Safe.

From the Whitehouse, defining the role of TSA in regard to surface transportation. Some salient points from the PDF. I added the bold:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/STSA.pdf
page 8
Sector-Specific Agency
(SSA)
 The Transportation Security Administration is the SSA for the security
of the land and air modes of the Transportation Systems Sector.


page 9, includes intercity buses specifically


Surface Transportation Modes
Mass transit, commuter and long-distance
passenger rail, freight rail, commercial
vehicles (including intercity buses), and
pipelines, and related infrastructure
(including roads and highways), that are
within the territory of the United States.
Executive Order 13416

The strategy guiding surface transportation security should focus on the following:
 Using intelligence to identify potential threats
 Employing programs and procedures that allow for better identification and interdiction
of threats prior to their arrival in the United States
 Engaging system operators in intelligence sharing, security planning, and operations
 Ensuring that key transportation workers are vetted
 Increasing frontline worker and public security awareness
 Creating a more stringent, less opportunistic environment for terrorist attack planning
(e.g., non-intrusive inspection devices, canine teams, random bag checks, VIPRs, and
counter-surveillance)
 Changing operations to reduce vulnerabilities and potential consequences and to thwart
attempts to circumvent security measures
 Hardening critical infrastructure (e.g., intrusion detection, facility hardening, smart
surveillance, and common operating picture development)

True and documented! Google TSA and VIPR. There have actually been many posts about this on DU also

Here's some info on VIPR and on additional expansion of DHS, TSA and Border Patrol funding and roles:
http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/28/travel/tsa-vipr-passenger-train-searches/index.html
TSA rail, subway spot-checks raise privacy issues
By Thom Patterson, CNN
updated 10:05 AM EST, Sat January 28, 2012
TSA officials like to point out that the acronym stands for Transportation Security Administration, not the Airport Security Administration. And that's where VIPR comes in.
Born after 2004's Madrid railway bombings, VIPR suffered some embarrassing coordination struggles, transit officials say.
The program has 15 teams and is expanding to get access to 12 new teams to spot-check thousands of transportation depots across the nation.
VIPR teams conducted 3,895 operations in "surface modes" nationwide in 2010, according to the Department of Homeland Security (PDF).


Much more at above link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visible_Intermodal_Prevention_and_Response_team

Much info and many links at the wiki page. Includes info on budget increases:
Budget

FY2009: $30 million, 10 VIPR teams
FY2010: increase of $50 million, for 15 surface transport VIPR teams
FY2012: $109 million
10 aviation teams
15 surface transport teams
12 new multi-modal team

They're asking for another increase for 2013:
http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/testimony/20120215-1a-s1-fy2013-budget.shtm
Fund 37 Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams, including 12 multi-modal Teams. VIPR teams are composed of personnel with expertise in inspection, behavior detection, security screening, and law enforcement for random, unpredictable deployments throughout the transportation sector to prevent potential terrorist and criminal acts.


EPIC has many resources noting the increase and privacy abuses. The paragraphs below include embedded links with more info on EPIC's site:

http://epic.org/privacy/airtravel/backscatter/
2013 Federal Budget Limits Body Scanners, But Expands Domestic Surveillance: According to White House budget documents and the Congressional Testimony of Secretary Napolitano, DHS will not purchase any new airport body scanners in 2013. However, the agency will expand a wide range of programs for monitoring and tracking individuals within the United States. This includes the development of biometric identification techniques for programs such as Secure Communities. DHS will also seek funding for "Einstein 3," a network intrusion detection program that enables surveillance of private networks. EPIC has urged the DHS to comply with the requirements of the federal Privacy Act, and is currently pursuing several Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the agency. For more information see, EPIC - Body Scanners and Radiation Risks, EPIC - E-Verify, EPIC - Secure Communities, EPIC - Fusion Centers, EPIC - Drones, EPIC - Cybersecurity, EPIC - Secure Flight. (Feb. 20, 2012)
Documents Reveal New Details About DHS Development of Mobile Body Scanners: EPIC has obtained more than one hundred fifty pages of documents detailing the Department of Homeland Security’s development of mobile body scanners and other crowd surveillance technology. The documents were obtained as a result of a Freedom Information Act lawsuit brought by EPIC against the federal agency. According to the documents obtained by EPIC, vehicles equipped with mobile body scanners are designed to scan crowds and pedestrians on the street and can see through bags, clothing, and even other vehicles. The documents also reveal that the mobile backscatter machines cannot be American National Standards Institute “certified people scanners” because of the high level of radiation output and because subjects would not know they have been scanned. For more information see EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology and EPIC: EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of the Body Scanner Program). (Aug. 31, 2011)

Here's a post from me with links about TSA budget and Border Patrol budget increases and expansion that I posted to a thread about TSA bus-riding agents:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=628201

Additional links about TSA "Bus Safe" in Houston:

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/in_focus&id=8629966

METRO's counter-terror intitiave draws criticism

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- One week after METRO rolled out what it called an unprecedented approach to safety, there is criticism of just what happened. It was a big operation with what critics have called questionable results.

You paid for 81 cops to saturate Houston bus stops and routes last Friday. Most were from METRO, but some were from the federal Transportation Security Administration, as well as HPD.

~~~

METRO called it a synchronized, counter-terrorism exercise, and the first ever in Houston welcoming the federal TSA to Houston bus stops.





http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/in_focus&id=8637693

METRO faces public backlash over counter-terror intitiave


On April 13, the METRO Police Department invited TSA to be a part of its bus-safe exercise. METRO said then and repeated for days afterwards there would be random searches of bus and train passengers' bags.
~~~

A friend of Broze took pictures of the bus-safe exercise that he says show TSA agents and METRO police asking riders where they're going as they get off the bus and how often they ride that route.

"METRO and TSA were going onto the buses and questioning people about their normal routes and their normal behavior, and it just kind of creates an atmosphere of fear," Broze said.


There's much more if you search DU2.

This from the guy whose company received huge tax breaks in addition to the bailout

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Blogs/Business-Buzz/2012/02/28/The-Infuriating-Inexcusable-AIG-Tax-Deal.aspx#page1


http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/02/27/bending-the-tax-code-and-lifting-a-i-g-s-profit/?ref=business

Last week, the American International Group reported a whopping $19.8 billion profit for its fourth quarter. It was a quite a feat for a company that was on its death bed just a little over three years ago, so sick that it needed a huge taxpayer bailout.

But if you dug into the numbers, it quickly became clear that $17.7 billion of that profit was pure fantasy — a tax benefit, er, gift, from the United States government. The company made only $1.6 billion during the quarter from actual operations. Yet A.I.G. not only received a tax benefit, it is unlikely to pay a cent of taxes this year, nor by some estimates, for at least a decade.

The tax benefit is notable for more than simply its size. It is the result of a rule that the Treasury unilaterally bent for A.I.G. and several other hobbled companies in 2008 that has largely been overlooked.

This rule-twisting could deprive the government of tens of billions of dollars, assuming the firm remains profitable. The tax dodge — and let’s be honest, that’s what it is — also will most likely help goose the bonuses of A.I.G.’s employees, some of whom helped create many of the problems that led to its role in the financial crisis.



But, hey have to find a way to keep the enormous salaries, bonuses and tax breaks flowing to the people who created the mess in the 1st place.


Also, the best way to "take the burden off of the youth" would be for people to be able to retire earlier, thus freeing up jobs for the youth, who now face increasingly high unemployment rates because of the austerity push by Benmoshe and his colleagues. And they would then be contributing to pension funds.

No coincidence that many of AIG's bailout pay outs went to the European banks whose high risk bets with AIG and others fed the crisis and who all sing in the same chorus demanding ever more austerity. And even as austerity is a clear failure when viewing the nations and majority of citizens it is crushing, it's clear the calls for it to continue are coming from the corrupt 1% who draw ever larger profits and benefits at the public's expense.





First Nations have been opposing the Northern Gateway, which is the route to sea

There's also a Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver.



http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/bc-natives-form-front-to-fight-oil-pipelines/article2256786/
B.C. natives form front to fight oil pipelines
DAVID LJUNGGREN, JEFFREY JONES
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Dec. 01 2011, 2:16 PM EST
Aboriginal groups in British Columbia said on Thursday they have formed a united front to oppose all exports of crude oil from the Alberta tar sands through their territories.

~~~

It adds to the uncertainty over Enbridge Inc. ’s planned $5.5-billion Northern Gateway oil pipeline, which would move 525,000 barrels a day of oil sands-derived crude 1,177 kilometres to the port of Kitimat.

Aboriginal groups, also known as First Nations, say they fear the consequences of a spill from the pipeline, which would pass through some of Canada’s most spectacular mountain landscape. They also oppose the idea of shipping oil from British Columbia ports.

“First Nations, whose unceded territory encompasses the entire coastline of British Columbia, have formed a united front, banning all exports of tar sands crude oil through their territories,” more than 60 aboriginal groups said in a statement.



Looks like the push is on to undo environmental laws, especially those related to water and watersheds and fish, so they can use those routes.

Reminds me of Naomi Klein's "the Take." Also, 2012 is the UN International Year of Cooperatives

The website for the film also includes background and historical info as well as related news such as micro loans for co-ops
http://www.thetake.org/index.cfm?page_name=synopsis


Must-read Ebert's review of "The Take." Tis a thing of beauty.
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050217/REVIEWS/50204002/1023




The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development, particularly their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. Much more at link:
http://social.un.org/coopsyear/about-iyc.html
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