Another TSA problem? Data collection

Another problem with the TSA? Lack of data collection. A former assistant police chief writes on the potential for passive discrimination, due to the TSA’s lack of data collection:

Over the last fifteen years or so, many police agencies started capturing data on police interactions. The primary purpose was to document what had historically been undocumented: informal street contacts. By capturing specific data, we were able to ask ourselves tough questions about potentially biased-policing. Many agencies are still struggling with the answers to those questions.

Regardless, the data permitted us to detect problematic patterns, commonly referred to as passive discrimination. This is a type of discrimination that occurs when we are not aware of how our own biases affect our decisions. This kind of bias must be called to our attention, and there must be accountability to correct it.

One of the most troubling observations I made, at both Albany and BWI, was that — aside from the likely notation in a log (that no one will ever look at) — there was no information captured and I was asked no questions, aside from whether or not I wanted to change my mind.

Given that TSA interacts with tens if not hundreds of millions of travelers each year, it is incredible to me that we, the stewards of homeland security, have failed to insist that data capturing and analysis should occur in a manner similar to what local police agencies have been doing for many years.

[via Mr. Alan Cooper on Twitter]

It’s a two for one deal…

Sarah Palin works her magic… by endorsing a candidate from the wrong state. Oops!

Pennsylvania voters can’t afford cap and trade legislation, says Sarah Palin. And that’s why they need to send Republican John Raese to the Senate.

Except that John Raese is the Republican nominee in West Virginia.

Obviously, that’s just the liberal elitist mainstream media trying to give her a “gotcha” moment. You betcha’!

Coupled with this gem from earlier this morning, the Tea Party is on a roll lately!

I love election season.

Everything wrong with mainstream journalism

Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Dish posted this email from a reader.

In posting that Quote of the Day from Jon Stewart, you showed the optimistic Stewart but missed what I think is the most important quote in the piece:

“Jon has chronicled the death of shame in politics and journalism,” says Brian Williams, the NBC Nightly News anchor who is a frequent Daily Show guest. “Many of us on this side of the journalism tracks often wish we were on Jon’s side. I envy his platform to shout from the mountaintop. He’s a necessary branch of government.”

That’s why the country is screwed, on a fundamental level.  A “journalist” (attractive man with nice hair) with one of the biggest platforms to report the truth in the country complaining about how he lacks the platform a cable talk show comedian has.  NBC Nightly News averaged 7.8 million viewers this past week.  The Daily Show averages about 1.8 million.  You have a platform, Brian Williams, you just refuse to actually do anything with your platform, in favor of “Well, the Republicans say that Barack Obama is an evil socialist, fascist menace; the White House disagrees.”  I exaggerate, but not by much.

It’s a shame too, because I genuinely enjoy Brian Williams, and he’s one of my favorite guests that appear on the Daily Show.

[via You Do Have A Platform! – The Daily Dish.]

This rhetoric is depressing

Paul Krugman explains how America is going dark.

We must place priority on reducing the deficit, say Republicans and “centrist” Democrats. And then, virtually in the next breath, they declare that we must preserve tax cuts for the very affluent, at a budget cost of $700 billion over the next decade.

In effect, a large part of our political class is showing its priorities: given the choice between asking the richest 2 percent or so of Americans to go back to paying the tax rates they paid during the Clinton-era boom, or allowing the nation’s foundations to crumble — literally in the case of roads, figuratively in the case of education — they’re choosing the latter.

Spotting a Republican

Hah (emphasis mine).

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

“She rolled her eyes and said, “You must be an Obama Democrat.”

“I am,” replied the man. “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help to me.”

The man smiled and responded, “You must be a Republican.”

“I am,” replied the balloonist. “How did you know?”

“Well,” said the man, “you don’t know where you are or where you are going. You’ve risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You’re in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it’s my fault.”

[Via Crooks and Liars via Truthdig]

 

Sports protesting AZ immigration laws

Image via Getty Images

I love this!

“I think it’s fantastic,” Nash said after Tuesday’s practice. “I think the law is very misguided. I think it’s, unfortunately, to the detriment of our society and our civil liberties. I think it’s very important for us to stand up for things we believe in. As a team and as an organization, we have a lot of love and support for all of our fans. The league is very multicultural. We have players from all over the world, and our Latino community here is very strong and important to us.”

I’d really love to see the San Francisco Giants wear their Los Gigantes jerseys whenever they play in Arizona.