Women Who Aspire Department
My wife first brought the last couple frames of this to my attention, but seeing the whole thing I was struck by the intellectual possibilities: a Zombie Marie Curie? Check it out.
A Laugh A Second Department
If you missed Jon Stewart’s monologue at the beginning of Tuesday evening’s The Daily Show, it was one of his best and most hilarious. My wife and I couldn’t stop laughing. Check it out:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Weatherman-Based System of Flood Height Measurements|
In fact, the entire episode was hilarious, especially for Stewart’s take on Republican’s seeking a share of the bin Laden-hit glory, so check it out, too. (For reasons unknown, The Daily Show provides embed code for smaller segments from episodes, but not for the entire one-half hour.)
If Stewart’s comments regarding the two pieces of absurd legislation being considered in Tennessee (always Tennessee, it seems) spark an interest, you can read further about them:
- The law that would ban all discussion of homosexuality in classrooms earlier than the 9th grade; and
- The “anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism bill authorizing teachers to present the ‘strengths and [alleged] weakness’ of certain ‘controversial’ subjects, with the obvious purpose of permitting creationism to be taught in science classes.” (On April 7, the Tennessee House voted 70-23 (70 to 23) to pass the bill. I mean, that’s not even close. [There I go, biting my tongue again -- you should have read the sentence originally holding this spot. Something about aberrant sexual practices.])
Anyone think we could create a viable movement for cutting Tennessee out of the Union? To my mind, the remaining 49 states would be vastly superior to the current 50.
War on Travel Department
Encounter at Immigrations re-entering the U.S.:
Immigration officer: “Tell me Mr. Haynes, you are an admitted atheist? You don’t believe in God? How long have you been an atheist? When what the last time you attended church. Do you associate with other atheists? What are their names? Did you meet with other atheists while you were overseas?”
Now, the foregoing is fictitious. It is also very offensive and antithetical to our idea of a free society and limits upon proper government inquiry.
Reading an ACLU blog entry regarding re-entry into the U.S. of two American Muslims, it also is not unheard of:
In February 2010, Lawrence Ho [a U.S. citizen] sought to return home to the United States after attending a conference in Canada. At the border crossing at Rainbow Bridge in New York, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers asked Mr. Ho, an American Muslim convert, “When did you become a Muslim?”, “Which mosques do you attend?” and “How often do you attend the mosque?”
Last August, Hassan Shibly, [a U.S. citizen and] a law student at the University at Buffalo Law School, sought to re-enter the United States at JFK airport with his wife and 7-month-old son after a trip abroad to visit family and perform a religious pilgrimage. Before they would let him come home, CBP officers asked him “Do you visit any Islamist extremist websites?”; “Are you part of any Islamic tribes?”; “Have you ever been to a madrassah or studied Islam full-time?”; “Do you attend a particular mosque?” “How many gods or prophets do you believe in?”
The blog entry reports that last week “we received a letter from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) stating that it is opening an investigation into the problem and our clients’ complaints.” So that is good news.
Even more importantly, however, on the off chance that among you is someone who also has been improperly questioned, detained, searched, or otherwise hassled during your travels, the ACLU provides a web page where you can report any instance when you think your rights may have been violated while traveling.
You might like to read the categories of possible abuse:
- I was forced to go through a full-body (AIT) scanner without being advised of an alternative;
- I was subjected to an abusive pat-down search;
- My laptop, cell phone or PDA was seized or searched;
- I was detained for extended periods of time when returning to the U.S.;
- I was asked inappropriate questions when returning to the U.S.;
- I was treated differently because of my race, religion, national origin, sex, sexual identity or disability;
- I was singled out due to the suspected presence of my name on a watch list;
- I was denied boarding;
- I believe my rights have been violated in another way.
Susie Castillo Pat-Down Video Redux Department
An interesting and useful deconstruction of the thousands of comments — many of them very antagonistic — left in conjunction with Castillo’s video account of her molestation at the hands of TSA. The author boils the comments down to eleven archetypes, and then demolishes them.