Author Archives: Lisa Simeone

‘Jane Doe’ raped by CBP and hospital personnel settles part of lawsuit

The case of a woman who was raped—repeatedly—by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and by medical personnel at the University Medical Center of El Paso has been partially settled. Continue reading

Be afraid, be very afraid! TSA (and its ilk) to the rescue!

Well, I’m finally back from three weeks away. Judging by the lack of posts at TSA News, the civil liberties watchdog site I run, I guess it was a quiet time on the TSA front. Continue reading

TSA comedy carnival at LAX

You know the line: “Laugh and the whole world laughs with you”? Well, the TSA in Los Angeles has taken it to heart. Continue reading

Supreme Court’s Scalia on TSA abuse: Meh

Anybody who thinks the Supreme Court will protect us from the TSA is dreaming. More accurately, he has his head somewhere other than above his shoulders. Continue reading

Junked Rapiscan scanners get second life

Since the radiation-emitting, independently untested Rapiscan strip-search scanners were removed from airports last year—at the cost of millions of dollars to taxpayers—what’s happened to them? Continue reading

New passenger discovers TSA grope policy

Charlotte Ann Kimbrough is a 57-year-old retired law enforcement professional. She worked for 32 years in an administrative capacity with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and other federal law enforcement agencies. She has two metal hip replacements. Continue reading

Cecily McMillan, victim of police assault, found guilty, in jail

In the continuing cavalcade of innocent people put in prison in this country—the vast majority of whom are poor and/or people of color—we now add Cecily McMillan, an Occupy activist who was assaulted by a New York City cop and who is now in jail for it. Continue reading

DHS TSA corruption—so what else is new?

A report came out last week exposing corruption at the Department of Homeland Security, with the DHS inspector general in cahoots with other officials high up in the administration. Continue reading

TSA anticipates matzo transportation spree

The Jewish holiday of Passover is on the way (April 14-22). And rest assured: the crack teams of the TSA are ready for it. Since we all know how respectful the TSA is of people’s private belongings, dignity, and integrity, you can count on safe passage for your religious artifacts. Continue reading

The remains of the day—rather, of our insanity

Political cartoonist Ted Rall once again hits the nail squarely on the head. Continue reading

TSA wants guns—can the O.K. Corral be far behind?

Oh, well. I was trying to avoid writing about this because it’s so idiotic, and because the official report is, predictably, so long and turgid and full of asinine acronyms and bumbling bureaucrat-speak. But since it’s being reported all over the news, I guess have to. Continue reading

TSA fraud and waste nothing new

As usual, the mainstream media are a day late and a dollar short. Continue reading

Morons on parade: TSA steals ‘grenade-shaped’ perfume bottle

I can’t keep up with all these stories. They come too fast and furious, one more idiotic than the next. Although there is sometimes method to the TSA’s madness, as in this case where the employees clearly wanted to steal somebody’s expensive perfume. Continue reading

TSA detains Lena Dunham, confiscates Terroristy Kitty keychain

The TSA once again illegally detained someone just trying to go about her business. The fact that the “someone” happens to be famous is irrelevant, except perhaps to those who are into celebrities. The salient point is that the TSA abuses people with impunity. Continue reading

TSA clerks think Bitcoin is metal

Someone who describes himself as an anarchist believes what the TSA is saying? Really?? Continue reading

Lions and tigers and shoes, oh my!

Ah, yes, earlier this month it was toothpaste, now it’s shoes. Continue reading

TSA’s latest rule change: STEBs to the rescue!

As I so often say, you can’t make this stuff up. Reality is so absurd, so surreal, that anything you could come up with in fiction would pale in comparison. Continue reading

United States of Paranoia lives and thrives

As I wrote last week, our DHS overlords were fretting about Terroristy Toothpaste Bombs. Well, now their paranoia is complete: along with their bumbling handmaiden, the TSA, they’ve banned all—all, mind you—toothpaste, deodorant, hairspray, baby powder, and whatever other liquid, aerosol, powder, gel personal grooming substances you can think of, from carry-on luggage for flights headed to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (And let’s not forget those terrorist cupcakes!) Continue reading

Homeland Security bulletin: Terroristy toothpaste is a new threat

Every day, this country becomes more and more like something out of The Onion. I know it’s a cliché to say you can’t make this sh*t up, but the fact is you can’t make this sh*t up. Continue reading

Alec Baldwin’s infant daughter—‘randomly selected’?

A story came out Tuessday about American actor Alec Baldwin, who apparently sent a tweet saying that his 5-month-old daughter had been randomly selected for a pat-down. Continue reading

‘Take me out to the ball game’—so I can be groped?

Ah, well, it was only a matter of time. Anybody with a brain knew it was only a matter of time. Continue reading

American police brutality and a clueless judge

Behold the words of an American judge, who, upon discovering the type of police brutality that goes on in this country every day, is shocked: “Defendant’s motion describes facts so extreme and unusual that this can truly be deemed sui generis,” Judge Steven M. Statsinger wrote. Continue reading

Americans and their hypocrisy over football

I’m 56 years old. Like most people my age, I’ve had to endure my share of bores at dinners and cocktail parties blathering on endlessly about their personal obsessions, not noticing the glazed look in the eyes of their interlocutors. These bores are usually men, though not always. And no subject gets them going quite like the testosterone-soaked game known as American football. Continue reading

In Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Texas, drivers pulled over, asked for blood and saliva

No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. No, it isn’t a scene out of a dystopian novel. It’s just another day in the good ol’ USA. Continue reading

TSA seizes terroristy sock monkey, confiscates “gun”

“Appalled and shocked and embarrassed”? Continue reading

Mandela dies, Obama lies

The news that Nelson Mandela has died is, of course, bringing forth a ton of speeches, tributes, and encomia from all over the world. Not surprising, most of it self-serving. Let’s recall that Mandela was taken off the U.S.’s official list of “terrorists” only in 2008. Continue reading

Daily Kos’s hypocrisy and Ted Rall’s capitulation

As you know, I’m a great admirer of political cartoonist Ted Rall. I’ve done many posts on him and his brilliant, scathing political cartoons (click the tag “Ted Rall”). Along with Mr. Fish, he’s one of the most provocative and truthful cartoonists out there. Continue reading

TSA exit portals or detention pods? You decide

A few weeks ago I caught wind of another nifty whiz-bang airport innovation guaranteed to make your journey even more onerous than it already is. And of course, it’s brought to you by our trusty friends at the TSA. Continue reading

WikiLeaks releases TPP text

This is huge. Huge. Continue reading

Another world is possible: Marinaleda

I’ve been reading about Marinaleda for some time. A small village in the south of Spain, about 60 miles east of Seville, Marinaleda is a cooperative. A commune, a utopia, a socialist success story—take your pick of terminology. The point is that it is a thriving community where everyone has a job, a home, a place in life. Poverty has been banished. There is no police force. Continue reading

2nd man in New Mexico reports being subjected to a forced cavity search

So that means there are more. Logic dictates that there have to be more. Continue reading

Cops and docs force anal cavity searches on man after traffic stop

This country is a police state. This country is a police state. Only in a police state could cops—colluding with medical doctors, no less—force 8—8—anal cavity searches on a man after a minor traffic stop. Continue reading