Open Thread

Last November, Phil Mocek (who does a lot of work with the CDC and for other civil liberties causes here in Seattle) was arrested at the Albuquerque airport after refusing to show his ID to get through security. He left at the end of last week (by train) for New Mexico for his trial, but it was postponed to January. Here’s a news report from Albuquerque on the case:

Comments

  1. 1

    Richard Pope spews:

    Walking is a right, while driving and flying are privileges …

    In any event, this dumbass claimed he had the right to fly without showing ANY sort of identification whatsoever!

  2. 2

    Michael spews:

    Yeah, showing ID to get on a plane doesn’t sound unreasonable to me. But, do we need to arrest people? Wouldn’t it be enough to just not let him get on the plane?

  3. 3

    spews:

    richard, michael

    John Gilmore wouldn’t show his ID. Southwest wouldn’t let him fly. He sued. He lost.

    http://www.mail-archive.com/cy.....82094.html

    To Michael’s point, the court’s decision touches on being arrested for not showing ID, saying it’d be bad.

    I see no reason to require ID to fly. It doesn’t increase safety. The watch list is a joke. It’s just security theater.

    Requiring me to show my idea is asking me to prove that I’m not a threat. So much for innocent until proven otherwise.

    I’ll presumably be x-rayed, groped, and profiled on my way to the plane. How does an ID card improve that gauntlet?

    Security expert Bruce Schneier has covered all this exhaustively. For example, using forged IDs.

    Exactly two things have improved security post 9/11. Locks on flight cabin doors. And passengers now know to fight back.

    Everything else is just a waste of money.

    I’d rather the resources were devoted to human intelligence (HUMINT), where it’d do some good.

  4. 4

    Deathfrogg spews:

    @ 3

    It has nothing to do with safety or terrorism. Its all about tracking your whereabouts as much as possible. The entire TSA is primarily there to accommodate governments desire to track people no matter where they are in the country. You use your personal ID for everything. Hotels, renting cars, traveling, buying fuels or groceries. Every bill you pay, every credit or debit transaction you make is put into databases that can be accessed.

    Richard Nixon floated an idea once to require bar coding on all personal forms of ID, and require that ID be used during every purchase, even when using cash in a grocery store or gas station.

    Every cell phone has a GPS device in it, that cannot be turned off. If a law enforcement organization wants to track you, it is now legal for them to put a small GPS device on your car without a warrant to do so.

    Paranoid? Maybe so. But there is too much of it to dismiss out of hand without being just a little curious about why.

  5. 7

    rhp6033 spews:

    It used to be that the fight against I.D. cards were led mostly by fierce independents, mostly radical libertarians, who felt the government didn’t need to know who you were. Some felt you should be able to move anywhere you wanted and start a new identity each time.

    Then there were the survivalists who wanted to be able to dissapear into the mountains when the communists/blacks/whatever took over, without the government being able to track, or anticipate, your movements. Among those are Second Amendment radicals who insist that no I.D. should be required for any firearm purchase.

    And don’t forget the Evangelicals, many of whom fought against the adoption of a Social Security number or any I.D. card on the premise that it made it easier for the Antichrist to attach his number to the card, and display of the card would be required to buy or sale any item.

    Against these forces you have a number of inroads which, while accepting the principle of privacy in general as among those enshrined in the Constitution, decide that anything modern is a priviledge to which privacy doesn’t attach. Among those “exceptions” include the use of an automobile, opening a bank account, depositing more than $10,000 cash in a bank account, avoding the $10,000 rule by breaking the deposit into smaller amounts. Perhaps more intrusive is the I.D. requirement regularly required by private companies in our daily life: to rent a car, rent a hotel room, to ship packages, to get a telephone account, to make a purchase using anything other than cash, etc. Some businesses even make it nearly impossible to use cash, thereby making the compulsory I.D. check a routine but unavoidable fact of life.

    Now it’s air travel, and traveling anywhere in Arizona (by bus, truck, car, air, or foot) if you happen to look “undocumented”.

    I guess I’m getting pretty old. I can remember when a person could walk up to a counter, buy a one-way airline ticket, pay for it in cash, and walk directly to the gate and board the plane, all while carrying a gun.

  6. 8

    Douglass Firz spews:

    You’ll never see a Republican take a principled stand like this — unless it helps rich people and the rich people in turn help them.

  7. 9

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    This KLOWN is a showboater.
    Principled stand my a$$.
    Look at his background.
    Perhaps Goldy can make him an honorary member of his NW Division of Lunatic Moonbats.

  8. 10

    spews:

    Deathfrogg @ 4

    Its all about tracking your whereabouts as much as possible. … Paranoid? Maybe so. But there is too much of it to dismiss out of hand without being just a little curious about why.

    Nope. Just a statement of fact. And who knows better than us geeks?

    Everyone is being tracked, and sometimes recorded, in realtime. Every public record, use of cell phone or internet, electronic money transaction.

    There are very few realms where you still have privacy. For instance, casting a paper ballot at a poll site still protects your secret ballot.

    Oh. I almost forgot. We’re all vote by mail now. No more secret ballot. Sorry.

    Be careful saying anything out loud. People don’t appreciate having their bubbles bursted.

    Scott McNealy famously said “You lost your privacy, get over it” and was eviscerated.

    I was called a “sweaty, paranoid kook”.

    I personally don’t mind that we now live in a panopticon.

    But tell me, who’s watching the watchers?

    My data is me. It’s my life. I own it.

    I get to know who’s checking me out.

    If a drug company makes a buck off my DNA, I get my cut.

    If a marketing firm crunches my numbers for profit, I get my cut.

    If I’m part of some clinical trial, I get to see the results.

    David Brin’s book Transparent Society is a pretty good primer on this worldview.

  9. 11

    spews:

    Mr Cynical @ 9

    Perhaps you can muster the courage to defend any one of dumbass statements.

    For instance:

    In your libertarian utopia, who pays for the administration of our elections and courts?

    But you won’t.

    Or is it can’t? If so, is it because there’s no there there? Do you even have beliefs? At least “lost” believes the dumb shit she wrote. You? Not so much.

    I think you just live for the fight. You’re the kid who’d set fire to Rome, just to watch it burn.

  10. 12

    spews:

    @1 Richard Pope wrote:

    “Walking is a right, while driving and flying are privileges”

    Richard, you’re mistaken.

    The “public right of freedom of transit” by air is guaranteed by the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, and the TSA is required by Federal law (49 USC § 40101) to consider this right when it issues regulations. Airlines are common carriers. Freedom of movement is required in order for us to exercise our right to assemble, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment. Freedom of movement is also guaranteed by Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a human rights treaty signed and ratified by the United States.

    Federal law protects our freedom to travel via air. Quoting United States Code TITLE 49—TRANSPORTATION > SUBTITLE VII—AVIATION PROGRAMS > PART A—AIR COMMERCE AND SAFETY > subpart i—general > CHAPTER 401—GENERAL PROVISIONS > § 40101. Policy:

    (c) General Safety Considerations. — In carrying out subpart III of this part and those provisions of subpart IV applicable in carrying out subpart III, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall consider the following matters:

    (1) the requirements of national defense and commercial and general aviation.
    (2) the public right of freedom of transit through the navigable airspace.

    Richard Continued:

    “In any event, this dumbass claimed he had the right to fly without showing ANY sort of identification whatsoever!”

    I’m not sure it’s a right, but best we can tell (TSA refuse to publish the rules we’re required to follow; here’s what I know about it) you and I and everyone else are allowed to do so. The identity check by an airline serves mainly to protect airline revenue (no reselling tickets like we could just a couple decades ago) and the identity check by TSA serves mainly to allow the U.S. Government to restrict people’s movement using blacklists.

  11. 14

    zzippy spews:

    In case anybody’s still reading this comments thread, check out Bernie Sander’s filibuster today of the horrible tax compromise that the White House gave to the Republicans. I contacted the offices of Murray and Cantwell to ask them to support this filibuster. If you think that that tax deal was a bad one like I do, maybe you could contact your local senators and ask them to support it, too.

  12. 15

    spews:

    Hi Phil Mocek. Awesome post(s).

    I thought free of movement was implied by freedom of assembly. But not being very lawyerly, I wasn’t confident enough to mention it.

    Thanks.

  13. 16

    spews:

    For many years I have flown domestically without showing my papers to the federal government. For the most part, it was a hassle, until in late 2007 the Warner Letter was released, wherein TSA states to Senator John Warner that they have no policy requiring American’s to show ID before accessing their private carrier.

    http://freedom-school.com/travel/warner-tsa.pdf

    Carrying this letter during air travel made it super easy to fly without ID. Also in the Warner letter, however, TSA notes that they believe they have a right to create a policy requiring ID. Two years ago, they did just that. The current policy is that if one does not show ID, and one “cooperates,” they will allow access to one’s private carrier, but if one does not show ID and does not “cooperate” with them, they will disallow access to one’s private carrier.

    Americans have a right to travel freely between the states, without government interference. The United States Supreme Court has reiterated this in United States v. Wheeler (1920), stating that Americans possess a right, “inherent in citizens of all free governments,” to freedom of movement, a right very much related to freedom of association and freedom
    of speech.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.....v._Wheeler

    I have not flown domestically since TSA created it’s new policy, which I believe is a clear violation of the Wheeler case and my right to travel freely, if not an intentional challenge to it by the federal government. But, as someone who’s been stuck, on a Sunday, in an airport in a distant city, unsure if I’ll ever make it home, wishing I could call someone for help — all because I declined to show ID pre-Warner-letter — quite frankly I can’t handle the stress of it any more; I feel somewhat beaten by TSA and the terrorists who caused our freedoms to disappear.

    I would be forever grateful to Phil if he was willing to be the test case on this, someone willing to stand up for my right to travel freely between the states without identifying myself to federal agents.

  14. 18

    Douglass Firz spews:

    re (; “…a$$….”

    If he is making money off of this, then it is in his own self interest to make this protest pay.

    As a good little capitalist, isn’t that the point? Follow your own self interest and the ‘market’ will sort itself out.

  15. 19

    Puddybud identifying rujax liberal scientist deathfrog and zotz as fools! spews:

    Hey Liberal Scientist,

    You got a reprieve. Son is home from college for Christmas so I have more time to kick your ASS here. So let’s see… Terry Harrison Democratic Oklahoma State Rep, 18th District. Notice Puddy found his party affiliation from his home state. Notice there is nothing in the article describing his party affiliation. Butt like any standard progressive he brags about his “hunting prowess”. Reminds Puddy of John Effin Kerry!

    You see Jason Osgood, until the press becomes even handed Puddy loves identifying the slobbering DUMBOCRATIC press for what it is!

  16. 22

    Puddybud identifying rujax liberal scientist deathfrog and zotz as fools! spews:

    Hey Liberal Scientist…

    HA hero Janeane Garafalo is proving her progressiveness. Search and you’ll see she’s a HA hero!

  17. 23

    Puddybud identifying rujax liberal scientist deathfrog and zotz as fools! spews:

    Here is the last one Liberal Scientist…

    Progressivism at it highest

    “need to create a real crisis here so that the Republicans will have to answer for denying Americans unemployment benefits on the eve of the Christmas holiday. We let them off the hook in my opinion.”

    Oh yeah there’s more…

    “We’re going to see cuts in education. We’re going to see cuts in job creation. We’re going to see cuts across the board. And so what I‘m saying is that let’s not put ourselves in a position where we’re going to be faced with dramatic and fundamental cuts into the future.”

    Butt there’s more…

    “So what I‘ve argued is that we need to say first of all this estate tax deal is just intolerable and we can’t abide by it. It can’t be part of the deal. I understand that there will need to be a deal, but this estate tax doesn’t need to be part of it, and we need to renegotiate that part of it.”

    As for you Liberal Scientist… it’s your side who loves to create class warfare. It’s your side who loves to hate the rich! those are not any conservative’s words!

  18. 24

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    My, my, my.
    OK here we go…
    @ 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

    Pudster, I would direct you to the thread above – I never posted here – but whatever. Saw all the serial posts on the “From the Cesspool…” section and couldn’t resist seeing your latest insanity – kind of like the guilty pleasure of slowing down to see the after effects of a multi-car pile up. I may need to go to a wingnuts anonymous meeting.

    Ahem…

    @19

    Notice there is nothing in the article describing his party affiliation. Butt like any standard progressive he brags about his “hunting prowess”.

    Nowhere in the article you link does the term “hunting prowess” occur, as you imply with the quotes. You are right that the little local paper didn’t identify his party affiliation, which seems like a lapse, though the article is about hunting and hunting regulations and is more a human interest story, so perhaps that was their editorial decision. I don’t know, but I’d guess that a little local paper in McAlister OK does not have a raving liberal editorial posture.

    It’s interesting, the behavior of the Democratic lawmaker; from the article, after he learned he had shot a subtype of deer that needed a special permit (that he didn’t know about):

    “This is embarrassing ’cause I should have known better.

    “But at least others can learn from my mistake.”

    and

    “I’m the guy who’s supposed to know the difference. So if I made this mistake, other sportsman probably will too. I want people to learn from my mistake and not make the same one.”

    And then he turned himself in to law enforcement:

    ‘Todd Toby, this is Terry Harrison. I think you’re gonna have to write me a ticket.’ Toby laughed and said, ‘I think I am.’ And then he came out to my house in McAlester and gave me the ticket.”

    I really don’t see either nefarious “liberal” media behavior, or anything that reflects badly on the legislator (D) – he turned himself in voluntarily and asked for a $296 ticket. I would have expected you to come with a story of a Republican having the honesty and respect for laws and regulations that this guy does – have trouble finding one?

    So what is your point again, and how exactly does this “kick my ASS” as you blustered?

    (Again, this is an instance that is habitual with you – that your links in no way support the insane assertions you make in your posts – making taking anything you write seriously difficult at best.)

    ********
    @20
    You’re the religionist with the violent apocalyptic fantasies, Pudster, not me.

    Do I think that what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians is violent and oppressive and colonial and wrong – absolutely. On par with the Bantustans of South Africa.

    Have I ever condoned violence? Never.

    What was your point here exactly?

    *******
    @21
    Linked to page needing registration – didn’t do it.
    What’s your point anyway – that Madoff gave money to Democrats? That there are corrupt Democrats.
    Neither is news.
    Corrupt politicians should go. A corrupt political system should really go. A corrupt socioeconomic system needs be overthrown – like the one we have that concentrates money and power, and corrupts too many underlings and bootlickers who pander to the system for the Koch’s crumbs – kind of like yourself.

    Your relationship with your mirror must be very complex.

    ******
    @22
    Garafalo – I thought what she had to say was right on – did you have a problem with that?

    I’ve often thought that callous social darwinism that ‘conservatives’ espouse suggests strongly a missing part of one’s psyche, or a miswiring, that an essential empathic function was stunted. I think she’s saying the same thing, and I think that she is likely right that there is a biologic correlate/cause, at least partially, to the sociopathy exhibited by the likes of Beck and Hannity and the Koch brothers.

    I think we’ve evolved institutions and ways of organizing ourselves that allow individuals with certain traits that are essentially sociopathic to exploit those institutions. I think something similar is going on with you supply-siders, you corporatists – such rapacious behaviors are heavily rewarded and the negative consequences are distributed widely and externalized economically and socially. I think that those traits, like all, have been selected for at some point (natural selection!). A huge challenge for us as a species, is to look at how we organize ourselves and identify rationally how we want to be (inclusive/exclusive, rapacious/altruistic, callous/empathic) and then build structures to reward the positive behaviors.

    But back to Garafalo – she says you’re people are fucked in the head, biologically, and she’s likely correct.

    *******
    @23
    Let’s say at the outset that your including in your rant the estate tax reveals your thinking to be…less than subtle.

    Again, I see no problem with what the excellent Keith Ellison has to say.

    “need to create a real crisis here so that the Republicans will have to answer for denying Americans unemployment benefits on the eve of the Christmas holiday. We let them off the hook in my opinion.”

    He doesn’t want to let you and your ilk off the hook for threatening a disaster like cutting off unemployment insurance a week before Christmas. He wants to play smart politics.

    Your Republicans are demanding more deficit spending in order to give people like me a big and ongoing tax break (thanks, but no thanks) – it’s massively inflating of the deficit, it’s not “paid for” it’s gratuitous and it does very very little to stimulate the economy. The political point is that they will block UI and extensions of the tax break to poorer people only if these give-aways to the already-haves are approved.

    I think he’s exactly right, that it’s a game of political chicken, and that the Dems shouldn’t blink, because it’s the Repubs who are headed for a cliff if they really do screw the unemployed like this. (And I don’t think that the Repubs would relent simply out of shame that they would do that to people – see Garafalo above – no, only real political costs factor in to their thinking)

    *

    “We’re going to see cuts in education. We’re going to see cuts in job creation. We’re going to see cuts across the board. And so what I‘m saying is that let’s not put ourselves in a position where we’re going to be faced with dramatic and fundamental cuts into the future.”

    What, exactly, is wrong with that statement? All Republicans seem to know how to do is eviscerate programs that help ordinary people, and to transfer wealth from such people to their already wealthy patrons. Ellison seems to want to fight that. GO KEITH!

    *

    “So what I‘ve argued is that we need to say first of all this estate tax deal is just intolerable and we can’t abide by it. It can’t be part of the deal. I understand that there will need to be a deal, but this estate tax doesn’t need to be part of it, and we need to renegotiate that part of it.”

    Oh, God, the estate tax. The most terrifying shibboleth (slogans that take the place of hard thinking) of the Teahaddists.

    What is with you people? Here are some facts, excerpted:

    Permanent repeal of the estate tax would cost almost $1.3 trillion over the first ten years in which its cost would be fully felt, 2012-2021.

    Today, more than 99.7 percent of estates owe no estate tax at all, according to the Urban Institute-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Among the few estates that owe any tax, the “effective” tax rate — that is, the percentage of the estate’s value that is paid in taxes — is less than 20 percent on average.

    TPC estimates that only 80 small business and farm estates nationwide will owe any estate tax in 2009. This figure represents only 0.003 percent of all estates — that is, the estates of three out of every 100,000 people who die this year.

    One reason the estate tax was created was to serve as a backstop to the income tax, taxing income that was never taxed under the income tax. The taxation of this income is essentially deferred and ultimately taxed for the first time through the estate tax.

    Isn’t learning FUN!

    So what’s your problem with the Estate Tax? Or is it just that Sarah Palin said it was bad? (Oh, noes! I did it again – mentioned SP, which will likely leave Pud pulling his…sorry, TMI)

  19. 25

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    This is very discouraging, and suggests that my attempts to assist you in your thinking and analysis with facts could be getting us nowhere. Alas.

    From Digby:

    researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds.

    The problem is that sometimes the things they think they know are objectively, provably false. And in the presence of the correct information, such people react very, very differently than the merely uninformed. Instead of changing their minds to reflect the correct information, they can entrench themselves even deeper.

    and

    I’m also guessing one of these “cognitive shortcuts” is trusting in certain tribal identification and shared “worldview” to make things easier to sort out

    Alas, Fox News views are profoundly misinformed on a variety of topics.

  20. 26

    spews:

    scientist @ 25

    Yea. Kind of depressing.

    What it means is the default progressive strategy doesn’t work. Time for a new strategy.

    Politics is just a big game of rock, paper, scissors. Every strategy has a counter.

    These last couple of years, I’ve been trying to identify and promote affirmative agendas. Being for something vs against whatever evil we oppose.

    The pro arguments are always easier to message.

    We election integrity activists have almost always fallen into the con (opposition) trap. Where we’re explaining stuff like computer security and how the corporate shill is lying. As Lee Atwater has taught us, if you’re explaining, you’re losing.

    David Domke’s seminars on how to do this are awesome.

    Until then, just remember that all negatives can be stated as a positive.

    Stupid example: The low heat button on the dish washer says “energy saver”, not “less clean”.

  21. 28

    spews:

    scientist re Social Darwinism

    I’m always amused that the Creationists practice Social Darwinism.

    One of my relatives is a creationist. He was trained as a biologist. Pretty smart guy. Then he joined a fundy church. A real head scratcher. It’s one of those “invention to my delusion” things. (Another hat tip to Digby.)

    Anyway…

    The opposition to Darwin’s theories also amuses me.

    Darwin’s contemporaries accepted evolution. It was obvious. The debate was how it worked.

    Darwin’s contribution is that he come up with a better theory.

    An awesome, insightful, beautifully elegant theory. But just a theory for explaining what everyone could see happening with their very own eyes.

    My third amusement…

    Creationists can’t agree on the age of the earth. The debate in their community is hysterical. I won’t link to right wing sites, but for giggles some time check out conservapedia’s entry on young earth creationism (whatever they call it). It’s a hoot.

    It quickly becomes clear that their worldview quickly becomes a matter of doctrine (dogma). Were the creationists ever to get their way, they’d immediately tear each other apart. A small comfort.

  22. 29

    Steve spews:

    @28 FYI, I tried to provide a considerate, heart-felt response to what you wrote of me on the Bernie Sanders thread.

  23. 31

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    Apropos comments above regarding the nature of the immunity of conservatives to facts, a diary at DailyKos and News Corpse reports on another academic study correlating misinformation with watching Fox News.

    I would certainly be more inclined to pay attention to Cynical, even knowing where he’s coming form, if he bothered to link to anything besides Fox, a known purveyor of rank propaganda.