November 17th, 2010
In one shocking incident, TSA goons pulled down woman’s blouse, exposing her breasts, and laughed about it
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The TSA has been hit with a number of lawsuits as the revolt against Big Sis, naked body scanners, and invasive groping measures explodes, with one case involving a woman who had her blouse pulled down in full public view by TSA goons who then proceeded to laugh and joke about her exposed breasts.
Nationwide outrage against the TSA is not only bringing to light new cases of airport abuse, it’s throwing fresh attention on previous incidents that have been going on for years.
One of the most disturbing, which is subject to an ongoing lawsuit, involved a 21-year-old college student from Amarillo Texas. The woman was passing through security at Corpus Christi airport on May 29 2008 when she was subjected to “extended search procedures” by the TSA.
“As the TSA agent was frisking plaintiff, the agent pulled the plaintiff’s blouse completely down, exposing plaintiffs’ breasts to everyone in the area,” the lawsuit said. “As would be expected, plaintiff was extremely embarrassed and humiliated.”
TSA workers continued to laugh and joke about the incident “for an extended period of time,” leaving the woman distraught and needing to be consoled. After the woman re-entered the boarding area, TSA workers continued to humiliate her over the incident.
“One male TSA employee expressed to the plaintiff that he wished he would have been there when she came through the first time and that ‘he would just have to watch the video,’” the suit said.
The woman filed an administrative claim against the TSA but was forced to launch a full lawsuit after the agency failed to respond.
The incident bears similarities to a 2002 case involving a pregnant woman who had her breasts exposed by TSA agents in public. Her husband was thrown in the airport jail for complaining about the treatment of his wife.
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
Another lawsuit against the TSA involves Ron Corbett, a businessman and frequent traveler who is so infuriated by the plethora of cases where TSA workers have sexually groped passengers, squeezing breasts and genitals, that he has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Miami requesting an injunction against the TSA to prevent them from touching private areas without reasonable suspicion.
Corbett writes about his lawsuit on a blog entitled TSA Out Of Our Pants.
“Having grown up in New York and personally seeing the smoke rise from the towers that morning in 2001, I know the threat of terrorism is real, and I know we must defend ourselves. This does not mean that the Constitution should be ignored, and indeed, the TSA has plenty of alternative screening procedures that are less invasive. Besides the privacy issue, there have been health issues raised as to the radiation produced by the imaging devices, as well as efficacy issues, with no good studies having been done to show that this imagery makes us any safer,” writes Corbett.
Yet another lawsuit involves The Rutherford Institute, which is suing the feds on behalf of two pilots over the use of full body scanners.
“Those pilots recently refused to go through a controversial whole body imaging scanner, and also refused the alternative, the TSA’s new, more invasive pat downs,” reports CBS 6.
The lawsuit, which personally names both TSA chief John Pistole and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, argues that the scanners violate the Constitution’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures under the 4th Amendment.
The TSA could also be hit with a fourth lawsuit if they pursue an $11,000 claim against John Tyner, otherwise known as “don’t touch my junk guy”. Speaking on The Alex Jones Show yesterday, Tyner insisted he would file a counter lawsuit if the TSA continued to pursue him over his refusal to submit to an airport groping.
Another victim, radio host Owen JJ Stone, who had a TSA agent put his hand inside his pants and touch his backside and genitalia, has not indicated he will pursue charges, but has vowed instead to use his treatment as an example of why the TSA needs to be stopped in its tracks or abolished altogether.
Pistole faces another grilling from lawmakers today on Capitol Hill at a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
More From Prison Planet
Frequent flier Owen J.J. Stone appears on the Alex Jones Show to discuss the invasive new pat down procedures that included a TSA agent groping inside his ‘baggy’ or loose pants.
November 17th, 2010
“He just got kicked from Mumbai to South Korea, and he came home and attacked Republicans for it,” Ailes said. “He had to be told by the French and the Germans that his socialism was too far left for them to deal with.”
Ailes claimed in the interview that Fox News hasn’t singled out Obama, and that it challenges presidents. But he adds of the White House’s current occupant, “He just has a different belief system than most Americans.”
“He’s had 3,000 press secretaries since he got into office,” Ailes said, but now, “he’s making it harder for the press to make him look good. ... When the press falls in love, they fall in love hard. They’re like teenagers in love. It’s like the old Frankie Lymon song, ‘Why Do Fools Fall in Love?’ ”
Finally, Ailes offered a critique of Obama’s formal remarks: “I literally never heard an Obama speech that didn’t blame Bush.”
On non-White House matters, Ailes weighed in on Fox's relative radio silence on MSNBC's decision to suspend the left-leaning anchor Keith Olbermann for donating to the campaigns of three Democrats, even though many had been critical of Fox News hosts' contributions.
“If they went to get the guy, they were going about it fairly stupidly,” Ailes said. “It isn’t like we don’t know the guy supports left-wingers.”
November 17th, 2010
You may not have to worry about Ireland in a week, or a month. But at the moment, the Emerald Isle is causing global investors a whole lot o' anxiety.
On the surface, it's reminiscent of the problem Greece had with its unmanageable federal debt early this year, which shook world markets, ended a global rally in stocks and ultimately led to a $146 billion bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Greece spent more money than it took in for years, papered over the gap, and essentially became insolvent when it could no longer borrow the money needed to finance its debt.
Ireland is on the brink of insolvency too, which has helped drive down the S&P 500 stock index by nearly 4 percent over the last few days. But unlike Greece, Ireland is a relatively wealthy country, with per capita GDP of nearly $38,000. That's 21 percent higher than per capita GDP in Greece, and in the top third for European countries. Low corporate tax rates and a skilled workforce have made Ireland a haven for some of the world's biggest companies. And its public debt, about 65 percent of GDP, is far below Greece's crushing load, which is 126 percent of GDP. Ireland's debt levels are even lower than those in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
But Ireland has one huge problem that may soon make it a supplicant to its European brethren: A failed banking sector that Ireland's government can no longer rescue on its own. Ireland is in the midst of a real estate bust that could trump even the ruinous downturns that turned parts of southern California and Nevada into suburban ghost towns, with home-grown banks stoking it all. Now, those banks are trying to manage catastrophic losses. The Irish government has effectively nationalized the nation's biggest banks by guaranteeing their debt, which would be akin to the U.S. government taking over Citigroup, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
That means the Irish government is also on the hook for the losses those banks endure--which have risen far beyond initial estimates, and may have a lot farther to go. So far, the Irish government is obligated to cover losses amounting to 175 percent of Irish GDP, which is becoming an unsustainable burden. "If the Irish banks go down, the Irish government also goes down," says economist Jacob Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
As estimates of Irish bank losses have gone up, pressure has mounted on Ireland to do something decisive--and panicky markets may now force a solution. Ireland wants the European Central Bank to continue lending money to Irish banks at low interest rates, but the ECB has different ideas. Inflation has been creeping up in Europe, and the central bank said recently that it wants to end its program of pumping liquidity into banks, not continue or expand it. Cutting off those loans to Irish banks could force defaults, which the Irish government would have to cover or essentially be in default itself. Germany, meanwhile, wants to hurry a bailout of Ireland, to prevent worries about sovereign bonds from spreading to Portugual or Spain, which would be a much bigger problem.
A European bailout of Ireland would be manageable, and probably cost less than the Greek rescue. But Ireland doesn't want it, because the EU and IMF would force austerity measures onto the island nation that could effectively end its appeal as a business-friendly nation with a high standard of living. Since Ireland is wealthier than other European nations that would essentially be lending it money, social programs would end up gutted, and taxes would soar. And Ireland's 12.5 percent corporate tax rate--one of the lowest in the developed world--would almost certainly go up, taking what's left of the roar out of the Celtic Tiger. If multinational businesses abandon Ireland, it could fall quickly down the list of Europe's most prosperous nations.
The standoff is what worries the markets, since a protracted bailout battle darkens the clouds over Europe's other deeply indebted nations. Portugal and Spain aren't in serious danger of default at the moment, but as Ireland's cost of borrowing goes up, so does the cost of borrowing in similarly stressed nations. That gets passed through to businesses operating in those countries that do need to borrow money--and they could face more urgent funding needs than their own governments in the weeks ahead. That's how Ireland's problems ripple outward to other indebted governments, the real economy and ultimately to the global stock markets.
A bailout might seem tough to swallow in Ireland, but it would most likely calm global markets. Moody's Analytics points out that there's plenty of money available for a bailout, and also that the ramifications of a sovereign default are so severe that even nationalistic politicians would never let it happen. "We still believe the probability of default by a euro zone member state within the next two years is not significant," Moody's wrote in a recent analysis.
Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute sees three possible options. One is that a large bank, probably in Asia, could sweep in and buy up the Irish banks, if it got sufficient guarantees against losses by the Irish government. Prognosis: Unlikely. There's also a tiny chance that the European Central Bank will change its policy to accommodate Ireland. But that's even more unlikely.
What's most likely is some kind of Irish bailout, with tough negotiations over when it happens and the conditions Ireland must agree to. Ireland will fight hard to put off a bailout--at least until parliamentary elections on Nov. 25--and to retain its right to make its own fiscal decisions. But Ireland's luck may be about to run out, with other European nations likely to insist that Ireland face austerity measures at least as tough as those in Greece. Maybe tougher. "That would have very signficiant long-term growth implications for Ireland, and other euro zone countries know that," says Kirkegarrd. "But given the politics of bailouts, that simply doesn't matter." After all, there may be other bailouts that need to be addressed.
More From US News and World Report
More From US News and World Report
12 Ways To Stop America's Decline U.S.News & World Report
15 Cars Fueling Detroit's Revival U.S.News & World Report
November 16th, 2010
The UK Independent
By Michael Savage in Dublin and Donald Mahoney in Manorhamilton
They stand empty across Ireland: 300,000 unoccupied homes, a silent reproach to those who built them believing that the country's economic boom would never end. As Europe's finance ministers laboured in vain to reach an agreement on how to ease Ireland's economic misery last night, the so-called ghost estates were an awful reminder that the "survival crisis" the politicians were warning was under way had already hit ordinary people.
Dave O'Hara was one of those who bought into the "Celtic Tiger" at the beginning of the decade, eschewing a seven-generation family tradition of carving headstones in favour of a piece of the country's building boom. He founded a firm that constructed bespoke windows and doors for the thousands of upscale homes being built. The firm grew into a multimillion-euro enterprise, until the recession – and the collapse of the building industry – hit in September 2008.
Now his company is in liquidation, and Mr O'Hara, 41, who has one child, is on the dole. He owes the Bank of Scotland more than ¤1m (£850,000).
Like many others, Mr O'Hara's anger is aimed at the banks, which have already been bailed out and seem destined to force the government to seek further help of some kind from Ireland's European partners. "Everyone is responsible for their own actions, but the burden is being brought to bear on the people on the end of the line. In Ireland right now, it's better to owe ¤50m than ¤50,000. The people who have sinned the most are suffering the least," he said, sitting in his cottage along the borderlands between Leitrim and Sligo, in the boggy north-west of the country. "I don't know what's coming, but I know what we've got isn't going to stay. I've lost all faith and confidence in our system."
Not far from Mr O'Hara's home, the "ghost estates" are well-known eyesores along the rugged landscape. And the crisis that created them has hit not just the people who built them, but those who might once have expected to move in, as well. Hundreds of thousands of homeowners have already found themselves saddled with negative equity as a result of the crash, economists estimate, with as many as one in seven families affected.
The toxic combination of the glut of house-building during Ireland's boom and the current dearth in demand means they have been lumbered with a property worth less than the loan they secured to buy it.
Personal indebtedness is also an issue, as are redundancy and the end of easy loans, meaning around 100,000 households are struggling to make regular repayments on the money they owe. And yet, house prices continue to fall precipitously. Together with slumping disposable incomes due to frozen wages and stubbornly high unemployment, still running at more than one in every eight adults of working age, many fear a social disaster is unfolding.
that was brought forward yesterday yanks a further ¤15bn out of the economy through major spending cuts and tax rises.
Many have taken drastic action already. With youth unemployment topping 30 per cent, some have already fled abroad to seek their fortune, or at least stay above the breadline.
The Economic and Social Research Institute think-tank estimates that the labour market will not pick up within the next two years, pushing as many as 100,000 people to seek work abroad. In a country of just 4.5 million, that would cause a dent in potential consumer spending, as well as a level of emigration-fuelled social upheaval reminiscent of the 1980s and after the Second World War. In Dublin, ministers were maintaining a tough-talking stance, refusing to go cap-in-hand to the EU even as discussions were continuing in Brussels. There was a not-so-subtle resentment in the capital that a growing number of European players were insisting a bailout was the best option. Yesterday, Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg politician leading the group of euro-area finance ministers, said help was there if it was wanted.
There must be a bitter irony in it all for Mr O'Hara. While the Irish government is working hard to avoid calling on the ample help on offer, he continues to struggle. However, he is opposed to Ireland opting for an embarrassing bailout.
"I use be to be pro-European," he said. "But my feeling now is that the solution can't come from Europe. It's akin to giving a credit card to a family already massively in debt. I think the banks need to collapse."
There are some who now want their leaders to swallow their pride and take the help on offer, however humiliating. "Maybe a bailout isn't such an bad thing," said Jackie McKenna, a sculptor in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim. "It wouldn't be the end of the world. If we don't we won't get out of this. Something needs to be done. Businesses are closing and we need to do something."
Despite his plight, Mr O'Hara remains remarkably upbeat. "I'm actually excited for the future," he said, adding that his situation was a "time for reinvention". Now it can no longer rely on its building sector, the Irish
will also have to undergo a similar, and painful, transformation.
Most Popular Stories In Europe
November 16th, 2010
Reversing a position he had held for years, Senator Mitch McConnell agreed to a four-year moratorium on earmarks, which are spending items inserted into legislation by members of Congress for their own states, sometimes for public works but also for private projects by well-connected businesses.
As America faces spiralling debt, earmarks have come to symbolise overspending and Washington sleaze, even though they typically account for only one per cent of the federal spending controlled by Congress. They have often been called the “gateway drug” to irresponsible expenditure.
Tea Party-backed candidates made earmarking a prominent issue in the recent mid-term election campaign, which resulted in the Republicans capturing a record of more than 60 seats in the House of Representatives and gaining six seats in the Senate. About half of those new members were supported by activists of the conservative movement.
Only a week ago, Mr McConnell scoffed at a freeze on earmarks because “it doesn’t save any money”. He insisted that the practice did not increase overall spending and allowed congressmen, rather than the Obama administration, to dictate where discretionary funds were allocated.
But a rebellion among the conservative Republicans, including three newly-elected senators backed by the Tea Party, forced him to change his mind.
“Unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government,” he said.
Republicans in the Senate and the House yesterday [Tue] voted not to pursue earmarks in the new Congress, which convenes on Jan 5 and lasts until January 2013. Democrats have decided to request earmarks only for the voluntary sector.
Some Republicans opposed the ban however. Senator Jim Inhofe observed that the constitution, which is regarded as sacrosanct by Tea Partiers, granted spending power to Congress.
He vowed to work with Congress in the coming months to slash the ballooning US deficit and national debt.