Man protests TSA idiocy by stripping naked in Portland airport

A 50-year-old man who said he felt that airport screeners were “harassing” him stripped naked at Portland International Airport, police in Oregon said.

Police charged John E. Brennan with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure after he disrobed while going through the security screening area at the airport Tuesday evening.

“When interviewed about his actions, Mr. Brennan stated he flies a lot and had disrobed as a form of protest against TSA screeners who he felt were harassing him,” a police incident report said. He was not intoxicated or under the influence of drugs at the time, police said.

Brennan was scheduled to fly on Alaska Airlines from Portland to San Jose, California.

Just a pissed-off geek.

Police said screeners asked him “numerous times” to put on his clothes, but he refused.

“Mr. Brennan’s actions caused two screening lanes to be closed and while some passengers covered their eyes and their children’s eyes and moved away from the screening area, others stepped out of the screening lanes to look, laugh and take photos of Mr. Brennan,” the police report said.

A good time was had by all.

Well, as good of a time you can have trying to fly somewhere in the United States. Good luck, John.

Australian companies hiring workers over 50 to get bonuses

Australian bosses who employ people aged over 50 for three months or more will receive a £650 bonus under a government scheme to combat age discrimination.

The bonus, to apply nationally from July 1, was adopted after an inquiry found that older workers in Australia have lower absentee rates and stay in jobs longer – but employers are reluctant to hire them…

The chair of the inquiry into older workers, Everald Compton, said seniors faced “massive discrimination” and were frequently treated as “over the hill” and unemployable. “Australia is only going to prosper if we recognise the best attributes of mature-aged Australians,” he said. “We are wasting good experienced talent by not harnessing them in every way we can.”

Though Australia’s economy was this week rated the strongest in the developed world by the International Monetary Fund – and unemployment is stable at about 5 per cent – the country has unusually low levels of old-age workers. The inquiry said the cost of failing to draw on skills and experience of older workers was more than £7 billion a year.

Government on Oz obviously feels that bribery trumps honesty. Perish the thought they should make any sort of discrimination just plain illegal.

Actually, having been unpleasantly surprised by age discrimination here in the GOUSA – and absolutely realizing how difficult it may be to prosecute and prove – maybe we should adopt bribery here? It certainly wouldn’t contradict our political culture.

Good cop beats bad cops and gets £800,000 payback

Sultan Alam, a police officer who was wrongfully sent to prison as a result of a malicious prosecution brought by colleagues, found out that he will receive a total compensation package of more than £800,000.

Cleveland Police admitted liability after they were sued by Mr Alam, who has fought for 17 years after he was wrongly prosecuted and convicted.

He was jailed for handling stolen goods in 1996, two years after first being accused of ”car ringing”. He served half of his 18-month sentence behind bars and, once free, began the long battle to clear his name while working as a taxi driver. That culminated in 2007 with him being cleared by the Court of Appeal.

Mr Alam, 49, will receive a total of £841,430 from Cleveland Police, the court heard today. This figure includes various types of damages plus an amount to compensate for the earnings he would probably have made if he had remained as a police officer.

In the civil case Mr Alam brought against the force, the Chief Constable admitted malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office.

Speaking outside the court today, Mr Alam said he was relieved the case was at an end. Asked about the size of the payout, he said: “To me it’s just a number. It was never about the money. “It’s about the principle. It’s about what’s right.

“All that it will do is ensure that my future financially is secure and my children’s future is secure but that would have happened anyway if I had been allowed to continue with my career.”

Mr Alam said: “Seventeen years that should have been spent with family and building a career serving the public have instead been spent fighting for my rights as an individual and fighting for justice against what, at times, appeared to be insurmountable odds.”

He added: “I have had to endure years of shame and humiliation and a stain on my good name…Not only did I lose my career – I lost my freedom, my family unit, my reputation and my health and much, much more.”

The court heard how the former traffic officer was “stitched up” by fellow officers as a result of industrial tribunal proceedings he launched in 1993 complaining of racial discrimination…

No surprise there either. The administration of law and order in many nations provides a system for redress of grievances that shouldn’t take place in the ranks of those who protect law and order.

The reality is – depending upon the political climate, the ideology of the local policing body itself, the courage and honesty of the police force in question – justice can be as scarce for a non-white police officer as a non-white civilian.

The rarity is final victory. For that, we applaud the courage and tenacity of Mr. Alam and the justice of the courts who finally heard his case.

82nd Airborne troops pose with body parts of Afghan insurgents

The paratroopers had their assignment: Check out reports that Afghan police had recovered the mangled remains of an insurgent suicide bomber. Try to get iris scans and fingerprints for identification.

The 82nd Airborne Division soldiers arrived at the police station in Afghanistan’s Zabol province in February 2010. They inspected the body parts. Then the mission turned macabre: The paratroopers posed for photos next to Afghan police, grinning while some held — and others squatted beside — the corpse’s severed legs.

A few months later, the same platoon was dispatched to investigate the remains of three insurgents who Afghan police said had accidentally blown themselves up. After obtaining a few fingerprints, they posed next to the remains, again grinning and mugging for photographs.

Two soldiers posed holding a dead man’s hand with the middle finger raised. A soldier leaned over the bearded corpse while clutching the man’s hand. Someone placed an unofficial platoon patch reading “Zombie Hunter” next to other remains and took a picture.

The Army launched a criminal investigation after the Los Angeles Times showed officials copies of the photos, which recently were given to the paper by a soldier from the division.

Which means no one is keeping an eye on the course of war at the grunt level.

Continue reading

Teen pregnancy drops sharply — getting children pregnant still most popular in the Bible Belt

Richard Florida on this fascinating map, produced by the Centers for Disease Control:

There is good news: teen births are at their lowest level in more than 60 years (10 percent lower than 2009, 43 percent below their peak in 1970). But the geographic variation is substantial. Teen birthrates are highest in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and New Mexico,. There are slightly lower concentrations in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arizona. New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have the lowest rates of teen births.

The full CDC report details drops in most states (excepting North Dakota, West Virginia and Montana), with the sharpest drops in Nevada, Arizona, California, Florida and Rhode Island. Elsewhere the impregnations continue apace, with Kansas, Michigan and Arkansas posting less dramatic declines.

The teen pregnancy rate is highest in Mississipi and lowest in New Hampshire, the CDC said.

Don’tcha love Family Values? Hypocrites who specialize in lying the most apparently have a thing for perpetuating babies having babies.

That’s the way it is here in New Mexico. We ain’t too far behind Mississippi’s record teen pregnancies and we don’t just have Kool Aid Party crap running through the airwaves. We have the one and only Roman Catholic Church explaining true morality to us all. As long as we skip science and good sense.

‘Buffett Rule’ debate blocked by Senate Republicans

Republican mice on their way to stop another fair tax bill

Senate Republicans on Monday blocked a move to open debate on the so-called Buffett Rule, ensuring that a measure pressed for months by President Obama and Senate Democrats to ensure that the superrich pay a tax rate of at least 30 percent will not come to a decisive vote.

But the fierce debate preceding the 51-45 vote — the Democrats were nine votes short of the 60 they needed — set off a week of political wrangling over taxes that both parties insist they are already winning.

Senate Democrats intend to return repeatedly to the legislation, named after the billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has complained that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. On Thursday, House Republicans will counter with a proposed tax cut for businesses that they say would spur job creation but would cost the Treasury almost exactly what the Democrats’ tax increase would raise…

Republicans are not only incompetent at economics, they’re lousy liars, as well.

…Pointing to a Gallup poll from last week that indicated 60 percent of Americans supported the proposal, including 63 percent of political independents, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, called the Republican response “proof positive” that “for first time in decades, maybe generations, they’re on the defensive on their signature issue,” taxes.

After he made that comment, a CNN poll was released putting support at 72 percent, including 53 percent of Republicans.

With taxes due on Tuesday, a Washington debate on the tax code this week was inevitable, but the escalating attacks reflect the peculiarities of this election year. Democrats have known for weeks that the Buffett Rule would not win the 60 votes needed to break a Republican filibuster, but they pressed forward in part to try to make the Republicans’ likely presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, the face of economic “unfairness…”

In the Senate, all the Republicans but Senator Susan Collins of Maine voted against allowing debate on the Buffett Rule. Every Democrat but Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas voted to allow it. Four senators did not vote…

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee immediately went after the two most vulnerable Senate Republicans running for re-election this year, Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts and Dean Heller of Nevada, accusing them of standing by billionaires while their party tries to cut Medicare. And they vowed the measure would continue to come up this year.

In general, the biggest corporations simply give similar amounts of money to both parties, hedging their bets and betting on greed. Not a bad tactic – except in an election year when working people are hurting the most.

The numbers came out this week on the average level of profits for various industries. The Pharmaceutical crew came out on top – and gee whiz – right after the Republicans worked so hard to gut the healthcare bill. Investment banks and financiers are right back up top, as well. Think the Republicans will get serious about the cost of running the nation – when they’re beholden to the cost of running corporate Ameria.