Archive for the ‘air travel’ Category

US government versus scholar?

April 10, 2007

“On 1 March 07, I was scheduled to fly on American Airlines to Newark, NJ, to attend an academic conference at Princeton University, designed to focus on my latest scholarly book, Constitutional Democracy, published by Johns Hopkins University Press this past Thanksgiving.”

“When I tried to use the curb-side check in at the Sunport, I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist Watch list. I was instructed to go inside and talk to a clerk. At this point, I should note that I am not only the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence (emeritus) but also a retired Marine colonel. I fought in the Korean War as a young lieutenant, was wounded, and decorated for heroism. I remained a professional soldier for more than five years and then accepted a commission as a reserve office, serving for an additional 19 years.”

“I presented my credentials from the Marine Corps to a very polite clerk for American Airlines. One of the two people to whom I talked asked a question and offered a frightening comment: “Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that.” I explained that I had not so marched but had, in September, 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution. “That’ll do it,” the man said. “

http://balkin.blogspot.com/2007/04/another-enemy-of-people.html

anal pain at New York airport

February 7, 2007

US immigration officials insisted the sufferer of an anal infection remove a small piece of medical thread which was being used by doctors to treat the condition. The man required treatment under general anaesthetic as a result.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/02/05/immigration_search/

1969: sonic boom breaks windows

December 20, 2006

It’s a clear August day in Kelowna, B.C. The International Regatta is on, and people are getting ready for the parade. Overhead, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels aerobatic team perform a graceful diamond vertical manoeuvre. And then… BOOM!

With a deafening crash, hundreds of windows suddenly shatter, spraying glass throughout an eight-block section of downtown Kelowna.

http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-75-246-1220-11/that_was_then/science_technology/kelowna

Barack Obama and police officer

December 12, 2006

barack-obama.jpg

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., second from left, shakes hands with officer Adam Dyer at Manchester-Boston Airport in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Dec. 9, 2006. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

What if a criminal or missing person slipped by?

Salt Lake City International Airport

December 8, 2006

When asked if he was refusing screening, McBride said he would allow a female officer to pat him down but was told that was not an option, the complaint states.

When asked to produce a driver’s license, McBride instead produced a valid Utah concealed weapons permit.

A background check revealed that McBride was not employed by the U.S. Department of State but was allowed to move on to his flight after consenting to a search. An officer confiscated the identification.

http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,650212044,00.html

new airport nudity machines

December 3, 2006

Here’s the famous picture showing how the backscatter machines for airports work.

susan-hallowell.jpg

(AP Photo/Brian Branch-Price)

Some important questions:
Would repeated use make cancer or other medical conditions more prevalent?

Are the people running the machines allowed to save or print out the pictures for their own use or for sale to others, like child pornography collectors or celebrity magazines?

Would people visiting airports be less likely to wear underwear? If you look at the picture closely, it seems that panties cause a fat roll at the midsection on the sides.

Will the machines damage or disable devices such as cellphones, pace makers, or hearing aids?

Constitutional rights at airports

October 29, 2006

General Mitchell International Airport
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

He grabbed the baggie as it came out of the X-ray and asked if it was mine. After responding yes, he pointed at my comment and demanded to know “What is this supposed to mean?” “It could me a lot of things, it happens to be an opinion on mine.” “You can’t write things like this” he said, “You mean my First Amendment right to freedom of speech doesn’t apply here?” “Out there (pointing pass the id checkers) not while in here (pointing down) was his response.”

After he had finished I started to remind him he had left out his statement that my First Amendment rights didn’t apply “here” but was cut off by the deputy who demanding my ID.

I explained to her who Kip Hawley was, why I though he was an idiot, and my surprise that the TSA Supervisor felt my First Amendment rights didn’t’ apply at the TSA checkpoint.

After he was assured I didn’t have any warrants out the first office came back and I had my first chance to really speak, I explained that I was just expressing my opinion and my writing should be protected my by First Amendment rights. When he didn’t respond, I then repeated that the TSA Supervisor stated my First Amendment rights didn’t apply at the TSA check point and I asked if he (the deputy) agreed that was the case. He responded by saying “You can’t yell fire in a crowed theater, there are limits to your rights.

At this point I chucked again

I asked how this was even remotely like shouting “Fire” in a crowd, and his answer was “Perhaps your comments made them feel threatened.”

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=606142

“My level of frustration with the TSA and their idiotic policies has grown over 2 ½ years,” he said. “I’m frustrated that poorly trained TSA people can pull random passengers out of line and pat them down like common criminals. The average traveler has no recourse.”

She said the man was “a little combative” and that a law enforcement officer came over, briefly interviewed him and determined that he hadn’t broken any laws.

There is no indication that he was combative, she said.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/09/28/idiot.baggie/index.html

airline screening

October 29, 2006

Passengers who flag concerns by exhibiting unusual or anxious behavior will be pointed out to local police, who will then conduct face-to-face interviews to determine whether any threat exists. If such inquiries turn up other issues of concern, such as travel to countries like Afghanistan, Iraq or Sudan, for example, police officers will know to pursue the questioning or alert Federal counter-terrorism agents.

like US military employees with PTSD?

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,708924,00.html

Atlanta airport

October 29, 2006

Hawley said TSA screeners are given tests around the clock to check their alertness. Images of bombs and other suspicious devices that are hard to detect are put up on the X-ray machine, followed after a brief delay by an alert that reads, “This is a test.”

After reviewing a tape of the images, Hawley said the software failed to alert the screener of the test.

The airport’s general manager, Ben DeCosta, said he was not satisfied with the way passengers were notified of the incident.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/04/20/atlanta.airport/index.html

airport identification

October 29, 2006

It’s now official.

You don’t need identification to travel on an airplane.

“Passengers are allowed to enter screening area without identification,” TSA spokeswoman Amy Kudwa told this humble reporter today.

http://www.secondaryscreening.net/static/archives/2006/03/ticket_check_id.html