Gay Patriot Header Image

Why Am I Being Profiled By TSA?

Ladies and gentlemen, I come to you as one of the very few US citizens to be a constant target of profiling at the airports.

Yep, it is true. The WASP-y, 30-something white guy in a suit is clearly a threat to national security. I know because every single time I go through TSA security, I am profiled. Why you ask? Because I have sleep apnea and must use a CPAP machine in order to get a good nights sleep. I have to carry the CPAP machine onto the plane, and 9 times out of 10 the machine is pulled for “extra screening.”

cpap.jpg

I believe I did read in The 9/11 Commission Report the massive Islamic conspiracy to use CPAP machines in order to make sure the pilots weren’t snoring before they slit their throats.

Ah, but I digress. Last week I had perhaps the worst week of air travel I have ever had. Now granted, I did have to fly from Charlotte to Chicago to Dallas to Denver in two days for separate meetings. And I have accepted my profiling by TSA agents for almost a year now…. I accept it and I’m used to it. But I cannot accept degrading treatment by TSA screeners as happened to me in Denver last Thursday. The following email (which is self-explanatory) was sent to the TSA Customer Service Director for the Denver area.

From: Bruce Carroll
To: bob.kapp@dhs.gov
Subject: Incident at Denver TSA Checkpoint this morning

Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 11:56AM.

Mr. Kapp: I was given your contact information from TSA Supervisor Mike Torrez at the Denver South TSA checkpoint. I told Mr. Torrez that I would like to file a formal written complaint against one of the screeners who treated me extremely poorly this morning at Denver International Airport. Mr. Torrez refused to provide me with the name of the screener who had caused the incident and instead suggested I contact you, which I am now doing. I am also copying the relevant staff officials on the US House Committee on Homeland Security that oversees the Department of Homeland Securty. Additionally, I am copying my own US Congresswoman Sue Myrick.

I want to first make you understand that I completely support the efforts and hard work of the folks at TSA. I am a regular business traveler who flies at least twice every week and have for the past three years. I also have a unique perspective as one of my best friends was on American Flight 77 on 9/11/2001. So I have been known to remind my fellow travelers who are moaning about a mere 5 minute wait in line about what is at stake and the perspective they should have when my friend was killed.

However, I do expect to be treated like a human being and with respect as an American citizen by TSA agents especially when I am trying to do my part in our War on Terror. This morning I arrived a few minutes behind (but not too late) for my flight at Denver. The TSA lines were short and there weren’t many people in the airport at all, so I anticipated a relatively quick process. I have sleep apnea and carry a CPAP breathing machine with me and have come to expect it will be pulled for the swab test. This morning, things went from bad to worse very quickly.

The TSA screener at the X-ray machine pulled it and I identified myself as the owner. She said “It has to be tested separately and that may take a few minutes.” She then placed it on the ground next to her chair and never called for any assistance. After a couple of minutes had passed I asked when it would be swabbed. She said she didn’t know and *then* called someone to do a bag check. The TSA agent that picked up my CPAP machine began to wait for me to put on shoes, etc…. I said in a very nice and calm voice that I was running late and to please screen it while I was getting my shoes on and getting my briefcase together. It was at that point that her pace became noticeably slower. She sauntered from machine to machine and it appeared that either every machine was being used or they were broken.

After I had gathered my things, I began following behind her to the last two machines she tried out. I was standing behind one of those nylon-rope lines while she swabbed my CPAP machine. BEFORE the results were even complete, she turned to her TSA associate and in a very loud and obnoxious voice said, “I sure hope I don’t have to chase down that guy to give him this thing.” Since I was well within earshot, I calmly responded, “Don’t worry I was chasing after you so I’m right here. I am in a kind of hurry.”

She turned around and snapped at me in a very condescending and hostile voice , “Well, you should expect that the machine would be checked we check them everywhere so you should have gotten here earlier.”

She then lifted the machine next to her, but behind the nylon-rope line and made some statement to the effect of “Do you want this back or not.” It was at that point that I got angry. I said, “yes I do and I don’t expect to be treated like this. I am a taxpayer and frequent traveler and I pay your salary.” I admit that was a knee-jerk comment, but I would also point out that it is true. She laughed at me and said “you don’t pay my salary” and then she continued snapping at me inappropriately, dismissed me with her hand and the comment “whatever”, and called her first line supervisor over.

He had a lot of attitude from the start, told me it was all my fault for obviously being late and refused to enter into a dialogue with me when I asked to file a complaint. Instead, he passed me off to Supervisor Mike Torrez. Mr. Torrez was initially polite and I told him that I am tired of being treated like a second-class citizen because my breathing problems require me to carry a machine. I told him I am probably one of the FEW people in the entire nation that is overtly “profiled” due to the machine, but that I put up with it. But I further told him I will not put up with being treated with such disrespect and dismissiveness from a TSA agent who began the confrontation with her initial comment before the swab test had been completed.

He gave me his card and I ran to my gate in Concourse B. I missed my flight, so returned to the checkpoint to ask Mr. Torrez how I file a formal written complaint against the TSA agent who was so rude. He was quite curt this time, blamed me entirely for missing my flight and shoved your card in my hand.

I am completely disturbed by this incident and would like to file a formal complaint. I would also like to know how this TSA agent will be reprimanded and coached to work with the public better. I am a patient man and it takes a lot to make me this angry. But I expect to be treated with respect, especially when I am a big supporter of the mission of TSA and the Department of Homeland Security.

I look forward to a prompt reply of this inquiry.

To date, I have not yet received a reply…. I’ve waited long enough.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Should Gays “Oust” McGreevey?

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 12:52 pm - September 22, 2006.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Politics

Jonah Goldberg thinks so.  He agrees with what we have said here after McGreevey first came out…. the same day he resigned for his corruption in office.

A Disgraced, Corrupt Ex-Governor…. who happens to be gay.  He now plays the identity card for sympathy – LA Times

Whatever the truth, it’s clear that McGreevey only came out because the wheels were coming off his political career. He tried to leap to safety by grabbing on to the guardrail of identity politics, declaring with focus-group clarity: “My truth is that I am a gay American.” That formulation — “my truth” — was exquisitely postmodern, implying that truth isn’t something we can all lay claim to any more. It must be personalized, relativized. It’s all about me.

By buying into this secular gospel, McGreevey appears to think that he can be cleansed of his sins. But real redemption requires admitting your mistakes, not merely the prurient details. As the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Monica Yant Kinney notes: “McGreevey didn’t come clean. He just came out.”

In his memoir, “The Confession,” McGreevey offers any number of revelations, but they don’t add up to a confession. “Some things I’d done, or allowed to be done in my name, were morally repugnant to me,” he writes, presumably referring to the various aides, mentors and backers facing criminal charges or mired in scandal. But he dealt with that by “forgetting” or never allowing himself to know. “I had my people strike back-room deals I kept myself in the dark about or forced from my mind if I learned too much. Obviously this is one root of my memory problems.”

Translation: “I feel so guilty about my corruption I can’t remember it. But hey, would you like to hear about my porny gay trysts at truck stops? I remember those perfectly.”

< ....>

Some gay rights groups were initially eager to make McGreevey a homosexual hero-martyr. The Human Rights Campaign celebrated the “courage” of America’s “first openly gay governor.”

But they seem to be getting cold feet. He’s not selling well. His appearance on “Oprah,” intended as the first waystation toward his beatification, received high ratings, but he generally got poor reviews. McGreevey is posing as a victim of something, but it’s not clear what it is. He lives with an Australian tycoon in a lavish manse in New Jersey. He reportedly got half a million dollars to describe how he betrayed everyone he claimed to love in Penthouse Forum detail. He told Matt Lauer on “Today” that he behaved so badly partly because he had straight parents who couldn’t teach him to be gay.

Perusing various gay blogs, one can find expressions of sympathy with the no-doubt real anguish of being in the closet. But as for McGreevey the man, there’s mostly contempt or prurient fascination. What there isn’t is a groundswell to make this guy a hero. Because he isn’t one.

I’m really just hoping McGreevey goes away.  He doesn’t serve our community well and now he’s just using us (again) to hock his memoirs.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

America Wins In Terrorist Deal

My test of whether something is good or bad in the War on Terror is how the Terrorist Civil Liberties Union (aka – ACLU) reacts.  In this case, I feel a lot safer knowing the Bush/McCain/Graham compromise is something the TCLU doesn’t like.

Following announcements that an agreement has been reached between the White House and Senators John Warner (R-VA), John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on military commissions, the American Civil Liberties Union today said the compromise agreement does not protect due process, fails to meet international treaty obligations and urged lawmakers to reject the deal.

The following may be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“This is a compromise of America’s commitment to the rule of law.  The proposal would make the core protections of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions irrelevant and unenforceable.  It deliberately provides a ‘get out of jail free card’ to the administration’s top torture officials, and backdates that card nine years.  These are tactics expected of repressive regimes, not the American government.

“Also under the proposal, the president would have the authority to declare what is – and what is not – a grave breach of the War Crimes Act, making the president his own judge and jury.  This provision would give him unilateral authority to declare certain torture and abuse legal and sound.  In a telling move, during a call with reporters today, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley would not even answer a question about whether waterboarding would be permitted under the agreement.

“The agreement would also violate time-honored American due process standards by permitting the use of evidence coerced through cruel and abusive treatment.  We urge lawmakers to stand firm in their commitment to American values and reject this charade of a compromise.”

It is sweet though to see the union of the first Republican political “same-sex marriage” out of all of this — John McCain and his lovely bride Lindsey Graham.  Kissy, kissy!

More on the Terrorist Detainee Compromise and the TCLU’s reaction at Stop the ACLU.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Happy Birthday, Bilbo & Frodo!

As the wise among you know, today marks the birthday of Bilbo Baggins and his adopted heir Frodo. Delighted that he and his beloved younger cousin shared September 22 as their birthday, Bilbo invited his younger cousin to live with him at Bag End so that, in the old hobbit’s words, “we can celebrate our birthday-parties comfortably together.

Here’s wishing you all much celebration on this happiest of days.