“Security” may be the excuse being offered for the outrageous things being done to American air travelers, but the heavy-handed arrogance and contempt for ordinary people that is the hallmark of this administration in other areas is all too painfully apparent in these new and invasive airport procedures.
Can you remember a time when a Cabinet member in a free America boasted of having his “foot on the neck” of some business or when the President of the United States threatened on television to put his foot on another part of some citizens’ anatomy? Yet this and more has happened in the current administration, which is not yet two years old. One Cabinet member warned that there would be “zero tolerance” for “misinformation” when an insurance company said the obvious, that the mandates of ObamaCare would raise costs and therefore raise premiums. Zero tolerance for exercising the First Amendment right of free speech?
More than two centuries ago, Edmund Burke warned about the dangers of new people with new power. This administration, only halfway through its term, has demonstrated that in many ways. What other administration has had an attorney general call the American people “cowards”? And refuse to call terrorists Islamic? What other administration has had a secretary of Homeland Security warn law enforcement officials across the country of security threats from people who oppose abortion, support federalism, or are returning military veterans?
If anything good comes out of the airport “security” outrages, it may be in opening the eyes of more people to the utter contempt that this administration has for the American people.
Those who made excuses for all of candidate Barack Obama’s long years of alliances with people who expressed their contempt for this country, and when as president he appointed people with a record of antipathy to American interests and values, may finally get it when they feel some stranger’s hand in their crotch. (See related video report: TSA humiliates cancer survivor)
As for the excuse of “security,” this is one of the least security-minded administrations we have had. When hundreds of illegal immigrants from terrorist-sponsoring countries were captured crossing the border from Mexico — and then released on their own recognizance within the United States, that tells you all you need to know about this administration’s concern for security.
When captured terrorists who are not covered by either the Geneva Convention or the Constitution of the United States are nevertheless put on trial in American civilian courts by the Obama Justice Department, that too tells you all you need to know about how concerned they are about national security. The rules of criminal justice in American courts were not designed for trying terrorists. For one thing, revealing the evidence against them can reveal how our intelligence services got wind of them in the first place, and thereby endanger the lives of people who helped us nab them. Not a lot of people in other countries, or perhaps even in this country, are going to help us stop terrorists if their role is revealed and their families are exposed to revenge by the terrorists’ bloodthirsty comrades.
What do the Israeli airport security people do that American airport security do not do? They profile. They question some individuals for more than half an hour, open up all their luggage and spread the contents on the counter — and they let others go through with scarcely a word. And it works.
Meanwhile, this administration is so hung up on political correctness that they have turned “profiling” into a bugaboo. They would rather have electronic scanners look under the clothes of nuns than to detain a Jihadist imam for some questioning.
Will America be undermined from within by an administration obsessed with political correctness and intoxicated with the adolescent thrill of exercising its new-found powers? Stay tuned.
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The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. – The 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, 15 December, 1791
1 August, 2010
To date, almost $1 billion has been paid or credited to the farmers under the settlement’s consent decree.
The lawsuit was filed in 1997 by Timothy Pigford, who was joined by 400 additional African-American farmer plaintiffs. Dan Glickman, the Secretary of Agriculture, was the nominal defendant. The allegations were that the USDA treated black farmers unfairly when deciding to allocate price support loans, disaster payments, “farm ownership” loans, and operating loans, and that the USDA had completely failed to process subsequent complaints about racial discrimination.
After the lawsuit was filed, Pigford requested blanket mediation to cover what was thought to be about 2,000 farmers who may have been discriminated against, but the U.S. Department of Justice opposed the mediation, saying that each case had to be investigated separately. As the case moved toward trial, the presiding judge certified as a class all “black” farmers who filed discrimination complaints against the USDA between 1983 and 1997.
The plaintiffs settled with the government in 1999. Under the consent decree, all African American farmers would be paid a “virtually automatic” $50,000 plus granted certain loan forgiveness and tax offsets. This process was called “Track A”.
Alternatively, affected farmers could follow the “Track B” process, seeking a larger payment by presenting a greater amount of evidence — the legal standard in this case was to have a preponderance of evidence along with evidence of greater damages.
THE RIPOFF OF THE TAXPAYERS BY BLACK ACTIVISTS:Originally, claimants were to have filed within 180 days of the consent decree. Late claims were accepted for an additional year afterwards, if they could show extraordinary circumstances that prevented them from filing on time.
Far beyond the anticipated 2,000 affected farmers, 22,505 “Track A” applications were heard and decided upon, of which 13,348 (59%) were approved. $995 million had been disbursed or credited to the “Track A” applicants as of January 2009[update], including $760 million disbursed as $50,000 cash awards. Fewer than 200 farmers opted for the “Track B” process.
Beyond those applications that were heard and decided upon, about 70,000 additional petitions were filed late and were not allowed to proceed. Some have argued that the notice program was defective, and others blamed the farmers’ attorneys for “the inadequate notice and overall mismanagement of the settlement agreement.” A provision in a 2008 farm bill essentially allowed a re-hearing in civil court for any claimant whose claim had been denied without a decision that had been based on its merits
Her organization, New Communities, is due to receive approximately $13 million ($8,247,560 for loss of land and $4,241,602 for loss of income; plus $150,000 each to Shirley and her husband Charles for pain and suffering). There may also be an unspecified amount in forgiveness of debt. This is the largest award so far in the minority farmers law suit.
What makes this even more interesting is that Charles Sherrod, Sherill’s husband, appears to be the same Charles Sherrod who was a leader in the radical group Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the early 1960s. The SNCC was the political womb that nurtured the Black Power movement and the Black Panthers before it faded away.
In his article, Blumer had some interesting questions about this settlement and about Sherrod’s rapid departure from the USDA
•Was Ms. Sherrod’s USDA appointment an unspoken condition of her organization’s settlement?
•How much “debt forgiveness” is involved in USDA’s settlement with New Communities?
•Why were the Sherrods so deserving of a combined $300,000 in “pain and suffering” payments — amounts that far exceed the average payout thus far to everyone else? ($1.15 billion divided by 16,000 is about $72,000)?
•Given that New Communities wound down its operations so long ago (it appears that this occurred sometime during the late 1980s), what is really being done with that $13 million in settlement money?
Here are some other questions to consider:
•Did Shirley Sherrod resign so quickly because the circumstances of her hiring and the lawsuit settlement with her organization that preceded it might expose some unpleasant truths about her possible and possibly sanctioned conflicts of interest?
•Is USDA worried about the exposure of possible waste, fraud, and abuse in its handling of Pigford?
•Did USDA also dispatch Sherrod hastily because her continued presence, even for another day, might have gotten in the way of settling Pigford matters quickly?
Here is another area for concern: In her position at the not for profit, “Rural Development Leadership Network,” a network of activists and community builder, was Sherrod involved in any way in encouraging people to submit fraudulent claims under Pigford? Did she put Black people who owned rural land in touch with lawyers who would file the paperwork claiming attempts to farm had been prevented by the non cooperation of the local USDA?
As many of you may know, there are a multitude of small parcels of non productive rural land all across the south, land unsuitable for mechanized agriculture that was once owned by subsistence farmers, black and white alike. Many of these parcels continue to be owned by family members who moved elsewhere out of sentimental reasons. The property taxes and other carrying costs are cheap and often ancestors are buried there in family plots. A drive on any country road in the South may turn up several carefully maintained postage stamp sized family cemeteries. I wonder how many of the these owners claimed they had farmed, attempted to farm, or thought about farming such acreage to score a fast $50,000 Black Farmer Fraud Award from Uncle Sam?
I guess if you are or were a poor white, Asian, Native American, or Hispanic farmer, you’re just out of luck in collecting your $50,000 fraud award.
1. Timothy Pigford, et al., v. Dan Glickman, Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture, US District Court for the District of Columbia, Civil Action No. 97-1978 (PLF). Paul L. Friedman, U.S. District Judge.
2. “The Pigford Case: USDA Settlement of a Discrimination Suit by Black Farmers”, Tadlock Cowan, Congressional Research Service, January 13, 2009. Fetched February 9, 2009 from .
3. “The Pigford Case: USDA Settlement of a Discrimination Suit by Black Farmers”, p. 5. Tadlock Cowan, Congressional Research Service, January 13, 2009. Fetched February 9, 2009 from .