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Daniel Rubin of philly.com has an article detailing how TSA screeners made a four-year-old child remove his leg braces and walk without help through the metal detector before he was allowed to board a plane.

Daniel Rubin: Another case of TSA overkill

By Daniel Rubin

Inquirer Columnist

Just when I thought I was out of the Transportation Security Administration business for a few columns, they pull me back in.

Did you hear about the Camden cop whose disabled son wasn’t allowed to pass through airport security unless he took off his leg braces?

Unfortunately, it’s no joke. This happened to Bob Thomas, a 53-year-old officer in Camden’s emergency crime suppression team, who was flying to Orlando in March with his wife, Leona, and their son, Ryan.

Ryan was taking his first flight, to Walt Disney World, for his fourth birthday.

The boy is developmentally delayed, one of the effects of being born 16 weeks prematurely. His ankles are malformed and his legs have low muscle tone. In March he was just starting to walk.

Mid-morning on March 19, his parents wheeled his stroller to the TSA security point, a couple of hours before their Southwest Airlines flight was to depart.

The boy’s father broke down the stroller and put it on the conveyor belt as Leona Thomas walked Ryan through the metal detector.

The alarm went off.

The screener told them to take off the boy’s braces.

The Thomases were dumbfounded. “I told them he can’t walk without them on his own,” Bob Thomas said.

“He said, ‘He’ll need to take them off.’ ”

Ryan’s mother offered to walk him through the detector after they removed the braces, which are custom-made of metal and hardened plastic.

No, the screener replied. The boy had to walk on his own.

Leona Thomas said she was calm. Bob Thomas said he was starting to burn.

They complied, and Leona went first, followed by Ryan, followed by Bob, so the boy wouldn’t be hurt if he fell. Ryan made it through.

By then, Bob Thomas was furious. He demanded to see a supervisor. The supervisor asked what was wrong.

“I told him, ‘This is overkill. He’s 4 years old. I don’t think he’s a terrorist.’ ”

The supervisor replied, “You know why we’re doing this,” Thomas said.

Thomas said he told the supervisor he was going to file a report, and at that point the man turned and walked away.

A Philadelphia police officer approached and asked what the problem was. Thomas said he identified himself and said he was a Camden officer. The Philadelphia officer suggested he calm down and enjoy his vacation.

Back home in Glassboro a week later, Bob Thomas called the airport manager and left her what he calls a terse message.

He was still angry enough last week to call me after I’d written a couple of columns about travelers’ complaints of mistreatment by screeners at the airport.

“This was just stupid,” he told me.

At the very least, it was not standard procedure.

On Friday, TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said the boy never should have been told to remove his braces.

TSA policy should have allowed the parents to help the boy to a private screening area where he could have been swabbed for traces of explosive materials.

She said she wished Thomas had reported the matter to TSA immediately. “If screening is not properly done, we need to go back to that officer and offer retraining so it’s corrected.”

Davis also said TSA’s security director at the airport, Bob Ellis, called Thomas last week to apologize. He gave Thomas the name of the agency’s customer service representative, in case he has a problem at the airport in the future.

Afterward, Thomas said he appreciated Ellis’ call. He said he had no interest in pursuing the matter further or in filing a lawsuit.

“I’m just looking for things to be done right,” he said. “And I just want to make sure this isn’t done to anyone else. Just abide by your standard operating procedures.”

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A quote from Norman Mattoon Thomas, six-time Presidential candidate of the Socialist Party of America:

“The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but, under the name of ‘liberalism’, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened.”

He went on to say, “I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform.”

Related Posts: An Experiment On Socialism

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Today’s Rasmussen poll on Obama’s approval index shows that, since he took office:

  • His disapproval is the highest at 45%.
  • Those who strongly support him is at the lowest at 33%.
Date Presidential Approval Index Strongly Approve Strongly Disapprove Total Approve Total Disapprove
04/20/2009 +3 33% 30% 55% 45%

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WorldNetDaily has a post with images from the TEA party in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Obama slammed: ‘Chains we can believe in’

Americans thrash president for perceived pursuit of socialism


Posted: April 15, 2009
10:22 pm Eastern

By Joe Kovacs
© 2009 WorldNetDaily WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A sign with President Obama’s famous “O” logo stating, “Chains we can believe in” welcomed hundreds of protesters to a tea party event here this evening in one of the nation’s most affluent regions.


The well-known “O” logo of President Obama is combined with a play on his “Change we can believe in” slogan at a tea party protest April 15, 2009, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

Those braving rain showers to sound their objections to Obama’s policies voiced a common theme, one suggesting America is rapidly racing toward socialism.

“We’re headed toward socialism, and socialism is anathema to everything this country’s ever stood for,” said Fritz Breland, a self-employed yacht broker from Boynton Beach, Fla. “I’m essentially unemployed because no one’s buying.”

Bearing a simple cardboard sign equating Obama with socialism and evil, Breland was outspoken in his disgust for the direction in which he believes the U.S. is now headed.


Fritz Breland of Boynton Beach, Fla., displays a sign associating President Obama with socialism and evil at a tea party protest in West Palm Beach, Fla., April 15, 2009 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

“I see through you, Mr. Obama. You’re a socialist, and I will fight you with my last dying breath,” he said.

(Story continues below)

A West Palm Beach police officer monitoring the event from several stories up in a parking garage estimated the crowd to be approximately 500 before a downpour began to disperse some participants.


Carole Buell of Wellington, Fla., holds sign protesting government spending at West Palm Beach’s tea party April 15, 2009 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

Among those seeking shelter from the weather was Cheri Goldberg of Boca Raton, Fla., who admitted this was her first political rally.

“I have never in my entire life demonstrated, and I’m in my mid-sixties,” she told WND. She said she was upset because lawmakers are “signing these bills giving out money. They haven’t even read them.”


An unidentified girl braves rain showers to display a sign at West Palm Beach’s tea party April 15, 2009 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

Her message to Obama and Congress was simple: “Obey the Constitution, stop the bailouts and stop spending. Spend only what we have.”

Tom and Carol Dekker of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., said they fled California five years ago, closing their construction business because of a high tax burden there.

“In California, we were paying upwards of 70 percent of our income to the government in taxes,” said Mrs. Dekker. “Seventy percent! That’s socialism.”


Two unidenitified girls hold signs while relaxing during West Palm Beach’s tea party April 15, 2009 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

She said if she could talk to the president in person, her advice to him would be, “Step down. He’s ruining our country.”


A sign calling the Federal Reserve Bank a terrorist organization is displayed at West Palm Beach’s tea party protest April 15, 2009 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

Tom Dekker said Obama’s mantra of “change” and his new direction are not where America has been since its inception, and says it’s unfortunate the former state lawmaker and congressman hasn’t had “any knowledge of running businesses to appreciate what it’s like to be able to pay your taxes, pay your employees, pay all your bills.”

“He thinks that he’s got an endless pot of money that he can continue to spend, and he’s mistaken. He does not. People are just at the tipping point right now, and if they don’t change their ways in Washington, people are going to stop … maybe they just stop paying taxes. If everyone stopped paying their taxes, I think that would really impact what’s going on.”

Related Posts: Media Covers Anti-Prop 8 Activists, Dismisses TEA Parties

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An entry on Barry Creamer’s blog from one of his radio listeners caught my eye, so I thought I’d share the poem he quoted in response to those who say we shouldn’t speak out against Obama or other officials currently in office.

PROTEST

To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticize oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and childbearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.
Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.

Poems of Problems
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company 1914

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The National Right to Life Committee has an article encouraging those who love life to contact their State senators and urge them to vote against confirming Dawn Johnsen for Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel (AAG-OLC).  If appointed, Johnsen will use her position as legislative watchdog to frame legal cases through her pro-abortion worldview.

NRLC Protests Judicial Nomination of Former NARAL Legal Director

March 30th, 2009

The National Right to Life Committee sent a letter out last Friday to every Senator on Capital hill, urging them to oppose the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to the position of Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel (AAG-OLC). Johnsen, a former legal director at NARAL (the National Abortion Rights Action League), has long been a dedicated and vocal advocate for the pro-abortion lobbying industry, and her position in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel would give her extensive power within the administration as a legislative watchdog. In the words of NRLC’s action alert:

The person who serves as AAG-OLC plays an influential role both in construing existing laws and in evaluating the constitutional and legal implications of various legislative and administrative proposals.

Johnsen’s position then, would be a sort of “lawyer’s lawyer” to the Executive branch, giving her immense power to frame legal cases through her pro-abortion ideological framework.

Johnsen is not above twisting the Constitution in the interests of “reproductive rights.” In a legal brief she once wrote that legal limitations on abortion (such as ultrasound laws or waiting periods) are:

Disturbingly suggestive of involuntary servitude, prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment, in that forced pregnancy requires a women to provide continous physical to the fetus.

Forced pregnancy equals slavery according to Dawn Johnsen.

If you happen to disagree with President Obama’s nominee for the position of Assistant Attorney General to the Office of Legal Counsel, please follow the link below to read NRLC’s Action Alert, see a copy of the letter sent to the Senate, and send a message to your two Senators urging them not to confirm Dawn Johnsen.

http://www.capwiz.com/nrlc/issues/alert/?alertid=13020026&type=CO

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WorldNetDaily has an unsettling post that explains the federal Government has recently changed its policy on ammunition.  They now state that spent brass casings must be scrapped and cannot be remanufactured.  Ammo sellers, like Georgia Arms, have had to halt their sales of .223 and .308 ammo.  This is the easy way for the Government to control guns to civilians instead of having an all-out battle in the legislature.

Remember that one of the first things a dictator does when he comes into power is get rid of the populaces’ guns.

Feds undercut civilian supply of ammunition

Policy leaves manufacturers without brass for cartridges


Posted: March 17, 2009
9:00 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily


Fired brass shell casings

A recent government policy change has taken a bite out of the nation’s already stressed ammunition supply, leaving arms dealers scrambling to find ammo for private gun owners.

Georgia Arms is a company that for the last 15 years has been purchasing fired brass shell casings from the Department of Defense and private government surplus liquidators. The military collects the discarded casings from fired rounds, then sells them through liquidators to companies like Georgia Arms that remanufacture the casings into ammunition for the law enforcement and civilian gun owner communities.

But earlier this month, Georgia Arms received a canceled order, informed by its supplier that the government now requires fired brass casings be mutilated, in other words, destroyed to a scrap metal state.

The policy change, handed down from the Department of Defense through the Defense Logistics Agency, cuts a supply leg out from underneath ammunition manufacturers.

Learn here why it’s your right — and duty — to be armed.

The policy has compelled Georgia Arms, for example, to cancel all sales of .223 and .308 ammunition, rounds  used, respectively, in semi-automatic and deer hunting rifles, until further notice. Sharch Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the same cancellation of its .223 and .308 brass reloading components.

“They just reclassified brass to allow destruction of it, based on what?” Georgia Arms owner Larry Haynie asked WND. “We’ve been ‘going green’ for the last dozen years, and brass is one of the most recyclable materials out there. A cartridge case can be used over and over again. And now we’re going to destroy it based on what? We don’t want the civilian public to have it? It’s a government injustice.”

As WND reported, firearm sales have spiked since the election of a perceived anti-gun president, and Americans stockpiling bullets have produced a stressed ammunition market.

The Orlando Sentinel reports months of steady, heavy buying have left gun dealers in Florida facing shortages of ammunition.

“The survivalist in all of us comes out,” John Ritz, manager of a Florida shooting range, told the Sentinel. “It’s more about protecting what you have.”

“People are just stockpiling,” said a spokeswoman for Georgia Arms, which has seen bullet sales jump 100 percent since the election. “A gun is just like a car. If you can’t get gas, you can’t use it.”

WND contacted the Defense Logistics Agency, the Department of Defense’s largest combat support agency, several times seeking comment or explanation for the policy change but received none.

The National Rifle Association confirmed to WND that the DLA had been instructed to require the scrapping of the brass casings but declined further comment at this time.

Other gun advocates, however, have sounded off on the issue, eyeing the change in government policy with suspicion and filling the blogosphere with speculation that the effects of the policy change may be deliberate.

“It is an end-run around Congress. They don’t need to try to ban guns – they don’t need to fight a massive battle to attempt gun registration, or limit ‘assault’ weapon sales,” writes firearm instructor and author Gordon Hutchinson on his The Shootist blog. “Nope. All they have to do is limit the amount of ammunition available to the civilian market, and when bullets dry up, guns will be useless.”

A writer named Owen at the Boots & Sabers blog suspects the policy change is an effort by an anti-gun administration to raise the cost of ammunition.

“This policy didn’t come out of the blue,” writes Owen. “The Commander in Chief is clearly sending a message to gun owners that they should be paying more for ammunition. If he can’t do it through regulatory action, he’ll do it by forcing ammunition manufacturers to spend more on production.”

Hutchinson reports Georgia Arms was manufacturing over 1 million rounds of .223 ammunition every month, but without the ability to purchase expended military ammunition, the company may be forced to lay off up to half its workforce.

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