Has the TSA stepped over the line?

Last week I wrote defining the similarities between the definition of terrorism and the new screening procedures required by the TSA – namely “enhanced” pat-downs – http://martin.farrowz.com/archives/162

Today I must warn you; be careful!  It is your right to opt out of the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) or background scanner; but you MUST subject yourself to an invasive body pat-down.

If you don’t submit to the pat-down and ask to leave (opting not to travel because you don’t want the intimate screening) you could be subject to civil penalties.

But anyone who refuses to complete the screening process will be denied access to airport secure areas and could be subject to civil penalties, the administration said, citing a federal appeals court ruling in support of the rule.

The ruling, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, says that “requiring that a potential passenger be allowed to revoke consent to an ongoing airport security search makes little sense in a post-9/11 world. Such a rule would afford terrorists multiple opportunities to attempt to penetrate airport security by ‘electing not to fly’ on the cusp of detection until a vulnerable portal is found.”

So, let me refresh you of my last blog (I think it is more relevant today):

Ter-ror-ism

[ter-uh-riz-uhm]

– noun

  1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
  2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
  3. a terrorist method of governing or of resisting a government
  4. TSA enhanced pat-down; to be subjected to intrusive finger and palm manipulation of the genitalia area in a public setting; to be humiliated by questionable TSA screened personnel; to subject your children to legalized molestation.

With option number 5:  If you do not submit to TSA intrusive scanning you will be prosecuted!

I realize that flying is a privilege not a right and that security is imperative, but we must ask ourselves as we submit to this level of indignity:

Has the terrorists won?

Terrorism

Ter-ror-ism

[ter-uh-riz-uhm]

– noun

  1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
  2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
  3. a terrorist method of governing or of resisting a government
  4. TSA enhanced pat-down; to be subjected to intrusive finger and palm manipulation of the genitalia area in a public setting; to be humiliated by questionable TSA screened personnel; to subject your children to legalized molestation.

 

PNC – Minnesota Bureau http://goo.gl/n7PrO

An area Wiccan discovered first hand what most of us are still unaware of – many flyers are now being forced to choose between allowing a TSA agent to see them naked or to have their genitals touched and squeezed as part of what the TSA terms “enhanced pat downs.”  Celeste, a survivor of rape, described her experience with the new TSA procedures as devastating.

 

Infowars.com http://goo.gl/YjBcs

The federal government has been forced to respond to the accelerating backlash against new TSA measures which have outraged the nation, with TSA Administrator John Pistole and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano set to meet today with executives from the travel industry and heads of pilot associations.

 

Vicims of the TSA enhanced patdown speak out http://goo.gl/jKohv

The better-looking the girl is, the worse the groping. They literally lift you up and feel every crevasse of your body. Where is the outrage the American public should be expressing? If the government fails with the body scanners and the TSA enhanced patdown, they wont get this out on the streets. If they don’t fail, you will soon see this type of security measures taken at sports and public events.

 

ACLU http://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/tsa-pat-down-search-abuse

If you do not want your body to be scanned by a machine that uses x-rays to create a naked outline of your body, you may insist on your right to opt out of the full body scanners. But, you may then be subjected to an invasive pat-down of your body at the hands of TSA screeners. The TSA has recently changed its guidelines and these pat-downs are now much more invasive. Screeners are now authorized to use the front of their hands and to touch areas around breasts and groins. Passengers being screened are supposed to be given privacy during these more invasive pat-downs and the searches are supposed to be done by screeners of the same sex. Opting for the pat-down will take more time.

Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Linked to Diabetes and Abdominal Fat?

As Americans continue to fight a losing battle in the war against abdominal fat, newly emerging information from the Endocrine Society implicates high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with the metabolic disorder which leads to diabetes and storage of fat around the waist. HFCS is found in virtually every processed food and drink available on grocery store shelves because it’s inexpensive to produce, and readily available due to government subsidies.

Extensive research reveals that HFCS is metabolized much differently than regular sugar by the body. Although HFCS contains about the same amount of calories as sugar, the calories don’t register as being consumed by the brain, causing you to eat more before you feel full. Additionally, HFCS consumed from an early age affects the immature fat cells, forcing higher numbers to become mature abdominal fat cells in adult life.

HFCS promotes belly fat from early childhood, a problem with significant health implications considering the massive amounts of sweetened, processed foods and soft drinks consumed by children and teens. This research underlines the critical importance of eliminating HFCS from our diet at an early age, allowing our metabolism to release stored fat and lose weight naturally.

Entitlement nation

More are living off tax revenues, and fewer are providing them

(C) Chicago Tribune | Editorials | September 21, 2010 |  http://goo.gl/bkHq

When Congress and President Clinton embraced welfare reform in 1996, the goal was to move away from what was called a “culture of dependency.” That effort succeeded. But today, there is a different specter: a broader culture of dependency that could eventually undermine our economic and political system.

Reports The Wall Street Journal, “Nearly half of all Americans live in a household in which someone receives government benefits, more than at any time in history” (our emphasis). In 2008, that group encompassed 44.4 percent of the U.S. population, and the weak economy has undoubtedly increased the number as people are thrown onto unemployment benefits, early retirement and food stamps.

This is a major change. A generation ago, less than a third of Americans lived in households getting government benefits. The expansion helps to explain why it has gotten harder than ever to restrain federal spending on entitlements: too many oxen would be gored.

As if that trend were not worrisome enough, it coincides with another one: The number of households that pay taxes to finance all that assistance is declining. The Tax Policy Center says that in 2005, 39 percent of households paid no federal income tax. Today, it’s 45 percent. Most of those do contribute to Social Security and Medicare, but not all: 13 percent of households pay neither income nor payroll levies.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. once said taxes are “the price we pay for a civilized society.” But in recent years, they’ve become the price that a lot of us don’t pay for a civilized society.At the rate we’re going, that group may soon constitute a majority of the population. But then, so may the group composed of people getting federal benefits. So a minority of Americans may be taxed to provide support for the majority.

One problem is that as more people get benefits and fewer pay for them, the democratic pressures to contain federal spending weaken. The Journal notes that payments to individuals of one kind or another now account for 64 percent of all outlays, up from 47 percent in 1990. And people who don’t pay income taxes may be more inclined to raise them on people who do.

Robert Reischauer, head of the liberal Urban Institute, says he is not worried: “If there became an expectation that government was going to provide over half the population’s well-being to a significant degree without requiring anything of the recipients, there would be reason for concern. I don’t think that’s where we’re headed.”

Actually, that is exactly where we are headed. It’s up to Congress and the president to change direction before it is too late.

Who can we trust?

Recently the Oval Office (in the Whitehouse) received a makeover.  It is not uncommon for new presidents to update the decor of the Oval Office or even Air Force One.

So like most political articles; I like to read the comments that other readers write.  These comments are usually biased either to the left or to the right (politically).  The current administration (like all former administrations) have to deal with a lot of political spin and/or hyperbolae.  The news article Oval Office gets a makeover (featured on DrudgeReport) was no exception.  One comment popped out at me:

As I recall the Great Seal of the United States of America is Red, White and Blue.  Not a token shield  planted on a beige rug.

What are we talking about?  The Oval Office Rug.  Here is a picture of the new seal woven into the new rug.

clip_image002

 

The individual is trying to make a statement that current President is “down playing” or “weakening” the symbols of the United States of America. 

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Government Motors – IPO

The irony really stinks here – oh where to start…

  • When the federal government bailed out GM to the tune of $50,000,000,000 (50 billion or 61% ownership) two things happened.

    1] We the tax payer paid the $50B
    2] The share holders of then publicly owned GM got the shaft – this being very typical when a company goes bankrupt.

    But now GM is going to “re emerge” by issuing a new IPO (initial public offering) – some speculating for $10B.  So,

    – we the tax payer got shafted when we lost our common stock in GM
    – we the tax payer got shafted again by footing the bill for $50B
    – we the tax payer will get shafted again when we buy new common stock through the IPO.

    Come on people; how many times do you have to pay for this!!!

  • If you buy stocks in GM you are buying government debt.  The purpose of buying GM stock is for the primary share holder (the federal government) to get a return on investment.  You are buying back your government debt – with the promise of receiving dividends (profit) on these shares. 

    How is this different than buying government bonds?

  • What is the federal government going to do with this $10B? 

    Is the federal government going to pay down its debt?

  • In today’s economic market who has the money to buy $10B worth of stock options? 

    Probably the mutual funds – aka your 401K.

  • $10B IPO is the largest on record.  Google – one of the more recognizable IPOs – gained $1.67B at an initial price of $85.

    As the controlling interest in GM (61%) the federal government has a say in how many and how much the shares will be.  $10B is a lot of money.

I’d watch the news and markets closely on this one.  I cant shake the feeling that the individual tax payer will loose out in the long run.

Spam, spam, spam

Blah!

Unfortunately, I am going to require you all to register FIRST before you can comment on my postings – sorry, but this is to keep the spam to a minimal.

Click on the read more for my reasons behind this decision…

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Today on My Journey

This is my journey through the mindscape of Bipolar and Adult ADHD.  I was diagnosed in July 2010.

Its been a couple of weeks since I’ve reported on my journey.  Since my last post (7/29) I have been diagnosed with adult ADHD (see my recent post). 

So, I am now at the full strength of my mood stabilizer.  I know it is premature but I think I am starting to receive the benefits of the drug.  I haven’t had any dark thoughts lately and my mania has settled down (a little).  On the other hand, my ADHD is really showing its ugly face as anxiety, impatience and anger. 

I saw the psychiatrist and she is happy with the progress thus far.  I know that she doesn’t want to add additional treatment until we see the results of the current drug, but I wish I could start treatment for ADHD.

My mood swings seem less pronounced, but that maybe due to my being in a “normal” phase of bipolar.

What do you do for fun?

I have been asked this question several times in the last several weeks.  My typical response is “I dunno!”  Ask me enough times and I start thinking about it.  What DO I do for fun?  Play video games; yup.  Nieces and Nephews; yup…

 

 

…there’s not much else.

 

Then I started to think about something I used to do – sailing.  I used to race and just have fun sailing while I was in school.  So, I started to formulate a plan – How can I get a sailboat, for next to nothing? 

…thinking …thinking …thinking

An idea popped into my head – sell the motorbike that I have but never use.  Well, that didn’t work out (damn economy).  No one was interested.  What if I trade my bike for a boat?  Would that work?  Could that work?

 

… ding

It DID!!!  A stroke of genius.  Someone was looking for a bike and as it happens has a sailboat.  If all goes well then I will be a proud owner of this:

314.01, 296.80, 300.01, 300.02

The following is a summary of my ADHD diagnosis.  Since I have discussed this and Bipolar in  other blog entries I share this summary.  The information presented here does not include the private and confidential information provided in the clinical report.

Today I got my results for adult ADHD.  Here is the summary:

Based upon a clinical interview and reviewing testing data, Martin does meet the criterion for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), combined type.  On the WAOS-IV, Martin’s results indicated a weakness in the area of Processing Speed, which could be an indicator or ADHD.  The results on the IVA also indicate a diagnosis of ADHD.  Lastly, Martin has indicated many symptoms of ADHD on the CAARS.  Based upon this data, Martin fits the criterion of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined Type.

No surprises there.  That’s what I was being tested for. 

One other score is the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) score.  Currently I am 55-60 which can be summarized as:

Impacts social, marital and occupational functioning.

Again, not a surprise here either. 

I find it quite ironic in that what has been labeled as bad social behavior turns out to be summarized as a medically diagnosis code.  My codes; ADHD – 314.01 and Bipolar – 296.80. 

Two other codes are also indicated in the report: 300.01 Panic D/O and 300.02 Generalized Anxiety Disorder

So, now that I am diagnosed with Bipolar and ADHD my family and I can move forward for better treatment and hopefully some stability in our life.

Today on My Journey

This is my journey through the mindscape of Bipolar and Adult ADHD.  I was diagnosed in July 2010.

 

In my previous post I wrote about a mood tracking software.  The post also included a picture of my mood trend, and yes it shows that I am switching.

 

image 

I am coming off my manic phase and entering a depressive state.  The plot clearly shows that I was in a manic phase a few days ago.  Life was good.  I was the champion – even with the inflated ego.  Now, its over (for a while).  I was labeled as moody, but in reality I have Bipolar Disorder, and this is just a classical example of what bipolar people have to deal with.

The big trigger this time is money.  Not only am I worried about my cash flow (and whether I will make it to the next pay check), but I am realizing that my constant struggle with debt is a common trait of bipolar and ADHD.

The story today goes like this…

When both psychiatrist and psychologist asked me what I do for fun all I could reply is “I don’t know.”  Well, I started thinking about sailing.

I used to sail.  I love sailing!

So, I checked out CraigsList and found several boats that would be nice at around the $500-1500 price.  I found one at $350 with trailer.  FANTASTIC!!!

Except I don’t have the cash or credit to buy it.  Why?  Because I am constantly trying to catch up on my late bills.

My disease (bipolar and ADHD) is a strong factor in why I have been in constant debt for 20 years.  I can even remember back when my Mum (yes I am British) died.  I would spend, spend and spend some more.  It was easy. 

Today, I am depressed because I cant see a way out of this cycle.  I cannot see the day I will be debt free and have a credit score over 620. 

Depressing!

My Journey

This is my journey through the mindscape of Bipolar and Adult ADHD.  I was diagnosed in July 2010.

Today on my journey…

I have discovered a tool to track my bipolar switches.  Optimism Online can be used either as a software application for the PC or Mac, or can be used via your web browser.  If you have an iPhone you can also download their app from the AppStore.

I have been using it for 5 days and already I see a trend.  Like a lot of software it asks you how you feel, coped and your sleep pattern.  However, it also asks you about triggers and symptoms you experienced.  The best part is that you can customize these features to include your own triggers/symptoms or exclude those that don’t apply to you.

The software will then plot your trends.

 

image

As you can see, it has some potential.  I’ll follow up in a couple of weeks.

My Journey Begins

With my recent diagnosis of being Bipolar I now embark on a new journey as I discover how this disease affects my life.  My journey can be categorized in thee parts:

  • A review of my history as it relates to Bipolar
  • My day-to-day life
  • My future outlook

If dealing with Bipolar isn’t hard enough, I am also being tested for adult ADHD.  Either one is enough to disturb daily life.  Together; it is going to be quite a battle.

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Leave a Comment…

I realized that you needed to be registered in order to leave a comment.  Well, I have removed that restriction.  So, comment away.

“Everybody has some degree of…”

Recently I was diagnosed as being Bipolar or manic depressive.  I was being screened for adult ADHD.  How did I arrive at BD (Bipolar Disorder)?  It NEVER occurred to me that I even had a hint of being manic.  Sure, I’ve heard about BD.  Manic or mania are “crazy people”.  Depression – yup, been treated with depression for several years – with mixed success.

I told my wife the same day I found out… and got the reaction I would have expected.  I am sure it went something like this – “oh no, I am living with a maniac!”  I told her that I am no different than 24hrs before except that I now have a label.

Then I started reading.  What is BD and how does it affect me.  What I found was that it describes me to a tee.  My emotional / physical roller coaster was simple manic/depressive cycles.  I am still being screened for ADHD.  It turns out that people can be ADHD and have BD.  It also turns out that the antidepressants I have taken probably didn’t help BD.  Research has indicated that antidepressants may aggravate the manic phase, increate the switching and kindle full blown Bipolar I disorder.  This makes a lot of sense since the antidepressants seem to only work part of the time.

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