Daily Archives: November 29, 2010

Video shows shirtless boy pat-down from TSA

Fox 13 talks to the Utah Valley University student who shot the video with his cell phone.

TSA officials pat down young boy without shirt caught on camera

Fox13Now.com | Nov 22, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY — A video shot at the Salt Lake City International Airport is stirring up the debate over airport security and is now gaining national attention.

The 39-second cell phone video posted on You Tube by a Utah Valley University student shows TSA officials, doing a pat-down on a young boy with his shirt off. The video has gained more than 700,000 hits.

The student who shot the video, Luke Tait, told Fox 13 what happened before he began recording.

“The father assisted a little bit and he stood by his son and held his arms out, trying to help the TSA agent kind of perform the pat down. He did that twice, had to hold his son’s arms up,” Tait said.

Tait says the young boy did not set off the metal detector.

“The father got a little upset and he tore his son’s shirt off and gave it to the TSA agent and at this time, the TSA agent was yelling sir, sir at the man, the father of the kid,” Tait explained.

Tait said he was later approached by a man in a black suit who did not identify himself and asked to delete the video.

“When he approached me, he obviously thought there was something I had that was incriminating to TSA,” Tait said.

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz said it is important to know all the facts before people rush to judgment, but said it is clear that the TSA has crossed the line.

“Between the whole body imaging and the pat downs and kids having to take their shirts off, it just seems like we’re going a little too far,” Chaffetz said.

The Transportation Security Administration would not comment directly, but recently released a statement regarding the incident, saying:

“On Friday November 19 a father and son presented at a TSA checkpoint at SLC. The child alarmed as he walked through the metal detector. The father removed his son’s shirt in order to speed up the screening process. Once screening was complete, both proceeded to the gate for their flight.”

Watch the You Tube video of the pat down here.

TSA Administrator Apologizes to Cancer Survivor After Pat-Down Broke Seal on Urine Bag

Prosthetics Become Source of Shame at Airport Screenings

ABC News | Nov 24, 2010

By JANE E. ALLEN, ABC News Medical Unit

Prosthetic devices were designed to help men and women move on with their lives despite potentially stigmatizing medical conditions, yet they’ve become a source of distress and humiliation during the new pat-downs by airport security agents.

There’s already been outrage over the TSA agent who asked a Charlotte, N.C., woman who survived breast cancer to remove a prosthetic from inside her bra. There was also a bladder cancer survivor from Lansing, Mich., who said he was soaked in his own urine when a TSA agent’s pat-down ruptured the seal on his urostomy bag.

“Do these agents have any human understanding that ostomates have these appliances because they have had cancer and the appliances are the aftermath of a battle that was won!” Thomas D. “Tom” Sawyer, a retired special education teacher, posted Monday to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network online support group on Inspire.com. “I happen to wear mine with pride but I am also very private about it. The last thing I needed or wanted was to have urine leak in an airport and feel that all the world was looking at me.”


Senate Hearing with TSA Chief: “Have You Received the Law Enforcement-Style Pat-Down?”

Monday afternoon, Sawyer got a phone call from TSA Administrator John Pistole.

“He apologized and asked what I thought should be done,” an exhausted Sawyer tweeted to his Twitter followers. “Our message was heard in Washington D.C….My job is done.”

Sawyer encountered what mental health experts call micro-aggression: “an act or a situation in which a person in more power subjects a person in less power to either an assault or an insult. They’re very cumulative,” said psychologist Rhoda Olkin, a professor at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco. They also can lead to depression and anxiety.

“”The micro-aggressions that happen to people with disabilities are so ubiquitous,” Olkin said in an interview with ABC News. “Now to have it when you travel, at such an egregious level, makes just one more place where you’re really disadvantaged.”

Full Story

Christopher Columbus ‘was son of Polish king’: Courts of Europe kept his real identity a secret

Christopher Columbus arriving at one of the Caribbean islands on his voyage of discovery Photo: GETTY

The explorer, Christopher Columbus, was the son of a Polish king living in exile in Madeira and hid his royal roots to protect his father, a new book claims.

Telegraph | Nov 28, 2010

By Fiona Govan in Madrid

A Portuguese historian believes he has solved the 500 year-old mystery of the adventurer’s true identity after a thorough investigation of medieval documents and chronicles.

The origins of the man who discovered the Americas has long been a subject of speculation.

Contemporary accounts named his birth place as the Italian port of Genoa to a family of wool weavers but over the centuries it has been claimed that he was a native of Greece, Spain, France, Portugal and even Scotland.

Others claimed his origins were hidden because he was Jewish or secretly working as a double agent for the Portuguese royal family.

But the latest theory suggests that the great navigator, who died in 1506 after four voyages to the New World, was in fact of royal blood: the son of King Vladislav III who was supposedly slain in the Battle of Varna in 1444.

In his third book on the subject Manuel Rosa, who has spent 20 years researching the life of Columbus, suggests that Vladislav III survived the battle with the Ottomans, fled to live in exile on the island of Madeira where he was known as “Henry the German” and married a Portuguese noblewoman.

Mr Rosa believes a conspiracy was agreed to hide Columbus’ true origins and to protect the identity of his father. “The courts of Europe knew who he was and kept his secret for their own reasons,” the researcher at Duke University, North Carolina said.

“Our whole understanding of Christopher Columbus has for 500 years been based on misinformation. We couldn’t solve the mystery because we were looking for the wrong man, following lies that were spread intentionally to hide his true identity,” Mr Rosa told The Daily Telegraph.

His high birth would explain how Columbus was able to himself marry the daughter of a Portuguese noble 15 years before he set out to prove the world was round.

“The marriage was approved by the King of Portugal something that could never have happened if we believe the myth that Columbus washed up in a shipwreck in Portugal,” Mr Rosa explains in his book “Colon: La Historia Nunca Contada” – Columbus: The Untold Story”, published in Spain last month.

“His knowledge of geography, astronomy, algebra, cartography and even the fact that he used a secret cipher to communicate with his brothers all point to the best education. He was clearly a scholar and not self taught as the myth goes.”

Mr Rosa claims to have proved that a last will dated 1498 in which Columbus wrote “being I born in Genoa” was forged 80 years after his death by Italians with the name Columbo who wanted to lay claim to his inheritance.

Other evidence supporting Mr Rosa’s theory includes the similarity of Columbus’s coat of arms with that of the Polish king and a painting of the explorer housed in the Alcazar in Seville in which a crown is hidden on his sleeve.

And the fact that he was “reddish-haired, fair skinned and blue eyed – all features commonly found in Poland.”

The next step is to try and prove Columbus’s royal heritage by extracting DNA from the tombs of Polish kings to compare with that of the explorer’s son who is buried in Seville Cathedral.

“I have made a request to the Cathedral in Krakov to examine remains from the tomb of Vladislav II, who could turn out to be the grandfather of Columbus. It would prove the truth of my theory,” said Mr Rosa.

A project launched five years ago to discover Columbus’ true origins using DNA comparisons between his family and possible descendants was not conclusive.

A team of scientists took samples from his tomb in Seville and from bones belonging to his brother and son and compared them with the genetic make-up of 477 people living across Europe with surnames believed to be modern-day variants of Columbus.

Trans-Texas Corridor resurrected, promoted under new name

‘Nightmare’ federal plan resurrected from crypt

Controversial project now promoted under new name

WorldNetDaily | Nov 22, 2010

By Jerome R. Corsi

It was Amadeo Saenz, the executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation, who not quite two years ago, proclaimed to the Dallas News, “Make no mistake: The Trans-Texas Corridor, as we have known it, no longer exists.”

But it’s been exhumed, now appearing on numerous government and industry alliance websites as the new and separate projects that areknown as the I-35 Corridor and the I-69 Corridor.

Moreover, the Texas agency appears to have made a strategic decision to begin first with the I-69 Corridor portion that had received less attention during the battle that raged over the mega-highway project called the Trans-Texas Corridor from 2006 to 2008 when George W. Bush was president.

That the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Obama administration continues to harbor the dream of Mexico-to-Canada NAFTA superhighways is made clear by the Federal Highway Administration website that proclaims the “Corridor: Interstate 69 (I-69) – Texas to Michigan” is to be fully operational under the following project description: “The 2,680-mile international and interstate trade corridor extends from Mexico to Canada.”

Full Story

Actor decapitates mother with Freemason sword in Masonic and “Matrix-inspired” attack

boingboing.net | Nov 27, 2010

by Xeni Jardin

Michael Brea, an aspiring Haitian-American actor whose most widely publicized role was a walk-on in the TV series Ugly Betty, is reported to have slashed his mother to death with a sword on Tuesday, November 23, after attending a Masonic Lodge meeting in Harlem.

In an interview the NY Daily News managed to score inside Bellevue’s prison ward, Brea describes the killing as having been inspired by the Matrix films. He identified with the character Neo (doesn’t everyone?).

During the attack, neighbors heard him chanting “Repent! Repent! Repent!,” and other commands involving accepting Jesus, and referring to “The Grand Architect,” a Masonic term for God.

Neighbors say the NYPD were slow to respond: they came while the attack was under way, stood around, refused to break down the door of the apartment where the attack took place until it was too late—even leaving the scene of the crime, then returning when Brea’s mother Yannick was finally dead.

Full Story

Britain’s big chill breaks temperature records

A man clears his car of snow at Bowburn, northern England November 28, 2010. Credit: REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Reuters | Nov 28, 2010

LONDON (Reuters) – The cold snap gripping Britain dragged temperatures to historic lows with Wales and Northern Ireland shivering through their coldest November night since records began, the Met Office said on Sunday.

Thermometers in Llysdinam in Powys, Wales, sank as far as minus 18C (-0.4F) Celsius while at Loch Fea in Northern Ireland they sank to minus 9.5C (14.9F).

In Scotland the mercury fell overnight to minus 15.3C (4.5F) at Loch Glascarnoch, while in England a temperature of minus 13.5C (7.7F) was recorded at Topcliffe in North Yorkshire.


Britain shivered in unseasonably cold weather, earliest widespread snowfall for 17 years

The Met Office issued severe weather warnings of heavy snow for much of Scotland and northeast England. It said snowfalls of up to 25cm (10 inches) could accumulate on higher ground.

The cold and snow is forecast to last for a number of days, accompanied by severe frosts and icy conditions.

“The very low overnight temperatures we have seen are likely to be repeated through the coming week as the cold and snowy weather continues,” said Met Office Chief Forecaster Steve Willington.

“As winds increase into next week, it will feel increasingly cold with a significant wind chill to contend with by day and night.”

Braemar, in the Scottish Highlands, holds the prize for the UK’s lowest ever recorded November temperature. The mercury there plummeted to minus 23.3C (-9.9F) on November 14, 1919.