Janet Jackson at least had a nipple guard on when she flashed the prudes of America.
A Texas woman who said she was forced to remove a nipple ring with pliers in order to board an airplane called Thursday for an apology by federal security agents and a civil rights investigation.
“I wouldn’t wish this experience upon anyone,” Mandi Hamlin said at a news conference. “My experience with TSA was a nightmare I had to endure. No one deserves to be treated this way.”
Personally, I try to avoid Lubbock as often as possible. Lubbock or Leave It, as it were.
Hamlin said she could not remove them and asked whether she could instead display her pierced breasts in private to the female agent. But several other male officers told her she could not board her flight until the jewelry was out, she said.
She was taken behind a curtain and managed to remove one bar-shaped piercing but had trouble with the second, a ring.
“Still crying, she informed the TSA officer that she could not remove it without the help of pliers, and the officer gave a pair to her,” said Hamlin’s attorney, Gloria Allred, reading from a letter she sent Thursday to the director of the TSA’s Office of Civil Rights and Liberties. Allred is a well-known Los Angeles lawyer who often represents high-profile claims.
Applying pliers to the torso of a mannequin that had a peach-colored bra with the rings on it, Hamlin showed reporters at the news conference how she took off the second ring.
She said she heard male TSA agents snickering as she took out the ring. She was scanned again and was allowed to board even though she still was wearing a belly button ring.
“After nipple rings are inserted, the skin can often heal around the piercing, and the rings can be extremely difficult and painful to remove,” Allred said in the letter.
Allred said she might consider legal action if the TSA does not apologize. Hamlin was publicly humiliated and has “undergone an enormous amount of physical pain to have the nipple rings reinserted” because of scar tissue, Allred said.
Hamlin said her piercings have never set off an airport metal detector.
“The conduct of TSA was cruel and unnecessary,” Allred wrote. “The last time that I checked a nipple was not a dangerous weapon.”
Well, except for Janet Jackson’s nipple.
If there was one history book I read in college that made me weep out loud, it was Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.
“We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,” long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.
A delegation of Lakota leaders delivered a message to the State Department on Monday, announcing they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the United States, some of them more than 150 years old.
They also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and will continue on their diplomatic mission and take it oversea
The treaties signed with the United States are merely “worthless words on worthless paper,” the Lakota freedom activists say on their website.
The treaties have been “repeatedly violated in order to steal our culture, our land and our ability to maintain our way of life,” the reborn freedom movement says.
Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal, Means said.
“This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution,” which states that treaties are the supreme law of the land, he said.
“It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent,” said Means. [From The Raw Story | Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US]
After reading about COINTELPRO, I’m not surprised about this move. I don’t have a clue as to what practical changes will ensue, but more power to the Lakota.
Lest you have ever entertained the thought that waterboarding was somehow a more humane torture. It isn’t. And also, misleading Congress is an impeachable offense, especially if the lies told are to cover up evidence of torture.
So much talk of waterboarding, so much controversy. But what is it really? How bad? I wanted to write the definitive thread on waterboarding, settle the issue. Torture, or not?
To determine the answer, I knew I had to try it
[Click to read more of this horrifying account Straight Dope Message Board – I waterboard!]
I wish I had a good reason to be in NYC this week.
Q&A With Indie-Rock Godfather David Byrne — New York Magazine
Like Lou Reed or David Bowie, David Byrne is a rock legend who’s long since diversified himself, cultivating a polymath’s persona as world-music advocate, sometime filmmaker, indie-rock godfather, and blogger extraordinaire. And starting February 1, Carnegie Hall will present four days of shows he’s curated, including two typically Byrnesian originals: “Here Lies Love,” his song cycle about Imelda Marcos, and a concert consisting of only one note. Byrne spoke with Rebecca Milzoff about why he’s a whole lot like Beyoncé.
Oh, it is fun to pile on. Especially on the Ralph Reed-loving Microslobs. Eeww, not in that way you perv!
Visual Tour: 20 Things You Won’t Like About Windows Vista
…make no mistake, the new Windows lacks a gotta-have-it feature, unless it’s the increased security that protected-mode browsing, built-in spyware protection and the new User Account Controls provide. To my way of thinking, security shouldn’t be something you have to pay for. What’s more, it seems like Microsoft is building some of the most ambitious security components of Windows Vista not for its customers, but for itself.
…Where does Windows Vista fit among many of the PC-based operating systems of today and the last couple of decades? With Beta 2 running on multiple test units, I feel comfortable predicting that Windows Vista will not outpace Mac OS X Tiger for overall quality and usability. It’s hard to beat Apple’s top-notch GUI design grafted onto an implementation of Unix variant, BSD. Mac OS X has excellent reliability, security and usability. That isn’t to say that its user interface wouldn’t gain if Apple adopted some other best ideas of the day, but Apple has the best operating system this year, last year and next year. It’ll be interesting to see what the company delivers in its 10.5 Leopard version of Mac OS X.
Meanwhile, I’m placing Windows Vista as a distant second-best to OS X. I see Linux and Windows 2000 as being roughly tied another notch or two below Vista, with XP being only a half step better than Win 2000.
Even though there are many great aspects of Windows Vista, taken as a whole, this next one could be Microsoft’s first significant operating system failure in quite some time — at least, as it’s configured in Beta 2.
Here are the 20 Vista behaviors and functionalities that could turn off Windows users. Windows newbies may not mind some of these things, but they will definitely try the patience of the millions of Windows users who’ve got real experience and muscle memory invested in Microsoft’s desktop operating system.
…Everywhere you look, Microsoft has copied things that Apple has offered for quite some time in OS X. The User Account Control features, especially with the Vista Standard log-in, look a lot like Apple’s user interface design. Too bad Microsoft doesn’t let you lock and unlock things (leaving those settings permanent) the way Apple does. More than 15 years later, Microsoft is still following Apple in operating system design and bundled materials. With some notable exceptions (including IE7+, where it copied Mozilla, and the Windows Sidebar, where it bests Apple, Google and everyone in user-interface design), Microsoft is belaboring the point by reinventing the wheel, often with an overall reduction in productivity and usability.
I have no problem with Microsoft copying Apple’s or any other company’s best interface designs. We all win when that happens, and I wish Apple would steal the best things Microsoft does right back. What’s really strange is when a company lifts good ideas and makes them worse, not better.
The bitter end
After more than 15 years reviewing Windows operating systems, I didn’t just suddenly begin hating Microsoft or Windows. (Although I have to admit, OS X is looking better and better of late.)
read more if you are interested in giggling, or if you are planning or being forced to upgrade to Longhorn/Vista in the near future (that is, once the software is actually released!)
This outrage always seemed manufactured to me as well, perhaps because I’ve been watching the superlative serial drama, the Wire, recently.
“The Wire – The Complete First and Second Seasons” (Daniel Attias, Alex Zakrzewski, Elodie Keene)
If drug dealers (albeit fictional) from the projects of Baltimore knew in 2002 that cell phone conversations could be monitored, how can President Bunnypants declare with a straight face that ‘security was comprised’ by revealing the extent of warrantless wiretaps?
The Wiretappers That Couldn’t Shoot Straight – New York Times:
ALMOST two weeks before The New York Times published its scoop about our government’s extralegal wiretapping, the cable network Showtime blew the whole top-secret shebang. In its mini-series “Sleeper Cell,” about Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in Los Angeles, the cell’s ringleader berates an underling for chatting about an impending operation during a phone conversation with an uncle in Egypt.
“We can only pray that the N.S.A. is not listening,” the leader yells at the miscreant, who is then stoned for his blabbing.
If fictional terrorists concocted by Hollywood can figure out that the National Security Agency is listening to their every call, guess what? Real-life terrorists know this, too. So when a hyperventilating President Bush rants that the exposure of his warrant-free wiretapping in a newspaper is shameful and puts “our citizens at risk” by revealing our espionage playbook, you have to wonder what he is really trying to hide.
Our enemies, as America has learned the hard way, are not morons. Even if Al Qaeda hasn’t seen “Sleeper Cell” because it refuses to spring for pay cable, it has surely assumed from the get-go that the White House would ignore legal restraints on eavesdropping, just as it has on detainee jurisprudence and torture.
That the White House’s over-the-top outrage about the Times scoop is a smokescreen contrived to cover up something else is only confirmed by Dick Cheney’s disingenuousness. In last week’s oration at a right-wing think tank, he defended warrant-free wiretapping by saying it could have prevented the 9/11 attacks. Really? Not with this administration in charge. On 9/10 the N.S.A. (lawfully) intercepted messages in Arabic saying, “The match is about to begin,” and, “Tomorrow is zero hour.” You know the rest. Like all the chatter our government picked up during the president’s excellent brush-clearing Crawford vacation of 2001, it was relegated to mañana; the N.S.A. didn’t rouse itself to translate those warnings until 9/12.
Given that the reporters on the Times story, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, wrote that nearly a dozen current and former officials had served as their sources, there may be more leaks to come, and not just to The Times. Sooner or later we’ll find out what the White House is really so defensive about.