Sunday, March 30, 2008

America's Finest at Work, Part IV

By now, most of you have probably heard of poor Mandi Hamlin, the 37-year-old who was forced by TSA employees in Lubbock, Texas to remove her nipple ring (with pliers) before she was allowed to board her flight.*

I certainly understand that people can be quite creative when it comes to improvising weapons. Which is exactly why the TSA should have let Ms. Hamlin's nipple ring stay in her nipple. Before she could begin to hammer her nipple ring out into a 1 or 2-inch knife, she would have had to remove it. The TSA of Lubbock, Texas actually aided and abetted a potential act of terrorism.

I know a lot of you probably sniggered at the CNN headline, "Nipple ring search procedures faulty, TSA admits" but it's the truth. I'm surprised any of those yahoos in the Lubbock Airport are still alive. Hamlin could have stabbed all the TSA guards with her nipple ring and then gone on a rampage with the pliers.

Clearly, if TSA employees are so stupid as to let potential terrorists remove potential weapons from their nipples, we have to be capable of ensuring our own safety. To better prepare you to recognize when a terrorist may be on the way to brandishing an improvised weapon, I leave you with this short short instructional video on nipple-ring removal.

Remember: only you can prevent terrorist attacks.

*In other news, there are people in Lubbock, Texas with nipple rings.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

America's Finest at Work, Part III

Anybody, anywhere could be carrying a bomb. Which is why federal law enforcement has been monitoring Interstate 5* for nukes. Recently a federal agent was in the median strip. A car passes by. The radiation detector goes off. The agent chases the car and makes it pull over. A search of the car reveals not a nuke, but a cat. And not an al-Qaeda cat, or a Hezbollah cat, but a house cat. With cancer. The cat had been taken to the vet three days earlier for radiation treatments.


Remember the PATRIOT Act, the package of laws that was supposed to protect us from Those Who Hate Us for Our Freedom? Well, as events in the Middle East remind us daily, our government hasn't succeeded in snuffing out terrorism. So, apparently they've decided to use the PATRIOT Act in the pursuit of more achievable goals--like winning the war on drugs. (It makes sense, at some point you have to cut your losses and move on, right?)

Last July, the ATF conducted a warrantless search of the house of Tyrone Andrews, whom they accuse of being a cocaine supplier for the Wichita Crips. Back in Bill of Rights days, when the feds searched your house they left a copy of the search warrant and a receipt listing the items taken.**

Andrews didn't find out his house had been searched until 90 days later. As you can imagine, his lawyer is displeased.

*Outside that hotbed of terrorism, Bellingham, Washington.

**Now I'm dying to know what such a receipt would like. "Taken: 1 radioctive cat. To be returned pending successful completion of investigation."??

Saturday, March 22, 2008

America's Finest at Work, Part II

The men and women who guard the nation's borders will stop at nothing to keep us safe. Last September, they kept a British musicologist out of the U.S. And earlier this week, U.S. Customs detained (and eventually deported) a British memoirist.

Sebastian Horsley wasn't kept out of the U.S. for any of the normal reasons: it wasn't because he's British, and nobody suspects him of having dabbled in music scholarship. The problem was his memoir Dandy in the Underworld, in which he admits to having spent over £100,000 on crack cocaine and an equal amount on prostitutes.* The New York Times quoted a Customs spokesperson as saying that under the rules allowing Britons to enter the U.S. without visas, British travelers may be denied entry if they have admitted to a drug addiction or have been convicted of a crime "involving moral turpitude."

*Normally I defer to the wisdom of law enforcement, but with the government desperate to jump-start consumer spending, is this really the sort of man we can afford to keep out?

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