Patterico's Pontifications


My Tale of Oppression

Filed under: Buffoons,Morons,Terrorism — Patterico @ 12:01 am

I feel for Prof. Walter Murphy, who was placed on the No-Fly list for his criticisms of the Bush Administration.

It happened to me too.

Like Prof. Murphy, I too am a sharp critic of ROE V. WADE, and supported the Alito nomination. But, like Prof. Murphy, my conservative credentials are no longer sufficient to prevent me from becoming an enemy of the people.

Like Prof. Murphy, I, too, was once asked to step aside for “further screening.” And another time, my family’s luggage was “lost” and not returned to us for two days. What’s more, the airline “forgot” about our request to have the luggage left on our doorstep. The guy knocked on the door at 2 a.m., rousing the entire family from slumber.

Yes, George W. Bush still hasn’t forgiven me for saying that he was too “stupid and lazy” to pick a better Supreme Court nominee than Harriet Miers.

It gets worse. Last night, I wanted another glass of Pinot Noir, but the waitress “didn’t notice” my frantic hand-waving and pointing at my empty glass.

That was because of my defense of the Scooter Libby prosecution.

Oh, sure, some waitresses are busy. But I clearly saw her look furtively at me from the corner of her eye. Yet she kept walking — all because I wouldn’t toe the line and trash Patrick Fitzgerald.

They got to her.

So I salute the valiant Prof. Murphy. And shame on naive fools like this guy, who say that Prof. Murphy’s name was not on the list for political reasons. Does he think he’s some kind of expert, just because he “spent more than four years reporting on watchlists, filing Freedom of Information Act requests, and talking with persons flagged by the lists”? Like that gives him some basis for knowing? Prof. Murphy heard it straight from the horse’s mouth: some guy behind the ticket counter!

We truly are living in 1984!

31 Responses to “My Tale of Oppression”

  1. No wonder anti-war Hollywood liberals buy private jets, Bush won’t let them fly commercial airlines.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  2. I too was critical of the Harriet Miers’ nomination. Since then, I have been “selected” to go thru extra security checks on several occasions. Furthermore, Bush has hassled me by canceling my flights, or by delaying my first flight so I missed my connecting flight. One time, when my flight was canceled due to “mechanical” problems (likely story), the “airline” (really Homeland Security) tried to break me by putting me in a Motel 6 for 12 hours. The motel’s TV system only had six channels –only six, that couldn’t happen by chance! But Bush’s favorite harassment tactic is to seat fat people next to me who hog the armrest and snore.

    Just think about what Cindy Sheehan has to endure.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  3. I’m disappointed that Professor Murphy missed the opportunity to ask about other government secrets while he was talking to the American Airline’s check-in clerk. Since the chap had encyclopedic knowledge of the no-fly list* and the criteria for inclusion on the list, it’s reasonable to assume he know of other top secret things… who killed the alien they autopsied at Roswell, the location of the secret holding camps for all the Arabs and intellectuals that are being disappeared, and where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. Not to mention being able to confirm that the Moon landing was faked, that Ron Reagan was a hand puppet operated by Michael Deaver, and that both crack and AIDs were invented by the CIA to vex black people…

    *Funny. For a guy on the no-fly list, Professor Murphy sure was able to get home alright. I guess he must have rented a car or something. Man, those peace protestors are clever.

    Al Maviva (89d0b6)

  4. If it happened to you too, then what kinds of idiots run that show anyway? Can’t they harass people more selectively than that? Your story is proof that this government program is ineffectual.

    Psyberian (de47c4)

  5. Interesting. And here I thought that United ‘lost’ my luggage on my last 2 trips to LaGuardia due to incompetence. In reality, it was my comments on eminent domain and drug legalization. Who knew. Maybe they checked my library records and found all of those subversive anti-CIA books as well. Bastards.

    carlitos (b38ae1)

  6. (shakes fist at sky)


    carlitos (b38ae1)

  7. And a swing and a miss for Psyberian!

    It’s called “mocking the stupid”, dude. Patterico is poking the fun.

    And Carlitos, you should warn me before you do that. I nearly spit-take’d coffee all over my work computer…

    Scott Jacobs (90eabe)

  8. Your “shame on you” bit is silly, as if none of the “leftists” would listen (as if Move On which wasn’t founded to defend Bill Clinton and not Chomsky)
    A lot of places have linked to the Salon piece. I’ve read it. It’s smart, but it doesn’t say Walter Murphy is lying or delusional (I doubt he’s either) just that the facts are probably more Kafkaesque than Orwellian. Here’s Jack Balkin’s comment also discussed at Threat Level.

    Stop accusing others of being blndly defensive.
    Throwing stones at glass houses etc.

    AF (c319c8)

  9. When you were selected for extra screening, did the skycap tell you that your name was on the no-fly list? You know damn well that most of the extra screening searches are random, or because you had too much toothpaste in your carry-on. That hardly refutes Murphy’s story that he was told that he was on the no-fly list for political reasons, a story that I would say has extra credibility in a year we hear the FBI ignores what little restrictions the law still had on National Security Letters, etc.

    I know you think you’re being clever comparing this to waitresses ignoring your order, but the thread sounds more like you’re all desperately trying to convince yourself that the Emperor to whom you’ve totally committed yourselves isn’t really a Sith Lord. Well, he is, just not a very competent one. Deal with it.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (8c4cf3)

  10. Andrew, I really just don’t have the words to describe how stupid the Emperor/Sith Lord bit is. I really don’t.

    I need to learn new swear words. The old stand-bys just aren’t cutting it anymore…

    Scott Jacobs (90eabe)

  11. Well, not to be of bad faith, but I call BS (or maybe BDS) on Professor Murphy. Here is what he claims that one airline employee told him:

    Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that.”

    WE ban a lot of people? WE? The airlines ban no one, it’s supposedly a terror watch list. His story is, quite literally, too good to be true. Whether the airline person told him this or not, he obviously was able to fly home unmolested. I say that he’s a) full of crap, b) suffering a persecution complex, or likely c) a little of both.

    carlitos (b38ae1)

  12. PS – not all of us nerds on teh internets have any idea what the heck a sith lord is, so I second Scott, drop it already. It’s worse than the Congressman who claimed there were Klingons in the White House.

    carlitos (b38ae1)

  13. What a maroon. The list isn’t that specific. One Walter Murphy gets on the list, all Walter Murphys have to jump through the hoops. Apparently some Kevin Murphy pissed someone off, so I have the same annoying issues. Probably this guy.

    Then again, maybe it’s just by last name. Nah, DHS could be that stupid. Could they?

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  14. Yeah, AF, I think Balkin is embarrassed by how stupid the post about Murphy sounded, and is struggling to something sensibly negative about the watch list while trying to moderate the silly-sounding paranoid rhetoric coming from those on his site.

    Look at the comments on the Threat Level post I linked in this post. Everybody is buying into the assumption that some random guy (who supported the Alito nomination, for Cripes’s sake!) has been selected for airline harassment, based on the say-so of some know-nothing yahoo behind a ticket counter. Some commenter named Thomas C is convinced that his luggage may also have been “lost” (he puts the word in quotes) deliberately because of things he said on HIS BLOG.

    Does Atrios fly? Does Kos? Does Arianna? Do hundreds of other well-known lefties? Are they on a watch list? Dontcha think we’d have heard about it if they were?

    This situation is ripe for mockery, and I firmly suggest that we point and heartily laugh at anyone who seriously buys into it.

    Patterico (ad4034)

  15. I bought a box of Raisin Bran and I’m sure it only had ONE scoop of raisins. The 40 year old pothead grocery bagger told me that Karl Rove ordered one scoop removed.

    Coincidence? I think not. The bastards got Ted Kennedy too. All for speaking truth to power!


    Your story is proof that this government program is ineffectual.

    Proof that it’s ineffectual would be when someone blows a plane up. The fact that it iinconveniences people is only proof that it’s a government program.

    Pablo (193828)

  16. Hmm, I’m on senility kick lately and why should I exempt Professor Murphy? How old is he? Early stages of Alzheimer’s are depression and paranoia.

    nk (306f5a)

  17. Paterico:

    I was on a watch list about four years ago shortly after it was established.

    I had been on active duty in the Navy and a Navy civil servant from 1961 to 1996, and am now employed by a Navy think tank.

    I have had a Special Compartmented Intelligence (SCI) clearance for over thirty years.

    I have never engaged in any activity that could be considered as disloyal to the U. S. or that any political party could consider hostile.

    But, as you see, I have very common name.

    I was denied on-line and kiosk boarding passes and required to undergo extra screening on numerous occasions. In most cases the airline agent simply made a phone call and relayed additional personal information such as date of birth; I never missed plane.

    The hassle was getting OFF the list. DHS has a website for this, but the delay in getting action was many months. Furthermore, I was required to submit three photo IDs (How many people have that many?)that were required to be notarized.

    I haven’t had any problems since.

    The only real mystery here is did ALL the John Davises get removed, or is there some Rovian secret database that contains all the personal ID on all the John Davises that gets searched every time I make a recommendation?

    Prof Murphy, take note.

    John Davis (ea88e8)

  18. Back, circa 1973-1976, my business (apparel manufacturing) required trips to Mexico, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan and on a few occasions Pakistan and Afghanistan. I lived in a town in North San Diego county that was very well known as a place where many drug smugglers/ big time dealers lived. Every time I came home from the above locations, I would be flagged by customs and sent to a location for very thorough baggage inspection. I had a few conversations with the agents and they thought the computer flagged because of where I lived. Since I never had anything to hide, it never bothered me. Oh wait, I had marched in some Vietnam, anti-war protests and wrote anti-war articles for a Brooklyn paper, maybe that’s what it really was all about…hmmm.

    PC14 (4d50e6)

  19. Carlitos, I see you cry, and raise you:


    Scott Jacobs (90eabe)

  20. You mean Klingons weren’t really in the White House?
    Was it Romulans then???

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  21. darth dubya would blow up his own death star if he could find the control panel.

    assistant devil's advocate (e28fac)

  22. darth dubya would blow up his own death star if he could find the control panel.

    I assume you are refering to the events that occurred at the White House during the alternative energy car show for The President?

    The one that even Keith Obermann says didn’t happen anywhere near how the Man from Ford says it did?

    Scott Jacobs (90eabe)

  23. I’m still laughing at the thought of this. But I can just imagine how the scene unfolded.

    Cop: Excuse me sir. Come with me.

    Pat: But, but I’m a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles!

    Cop: Suuuure you are, and I’m Marilyn Monroe. Now come with me, sir!

    OK, I’m sure it didn’t happen quite that way, but it’s still funny.

    I’m trying to imagine Patterico having to take his shoes off too… Strange world we live in…

    Psyberian (de47c4)

  24. That “threat level” post is a nice find. I read about the professor’s story earlier today and it’s good to hear the other side of the story before getting myself all worked up about it.

    TrojanGuy (0680ff)

  25. I can’t remember if it was Gerald Ford or G.H.W.Bush, but one of them was at a country club golf shop (I think) and asked to write out a check for “cash” for $200. The person at the counter was very young and did not recognize the former President (in spite of the Secret Service detail). The worker said that they had a policy against accepting checks for “cash”, but asked for his ID and “went to check with the manager”. Immediately a very apologetic manager came out of the backroom to take care of the matter for the President, who actually was a frequent visitor to the business.
    Professor Emeritus Murphy shouldn’t feel too bad that his credentials didn’t quite carry the day for him.
    Our host’s problem was the ticket and his ID all have his legal name. Had the ticket read, “Patterico, of Patterico’s Pontifications” he would have passed through and given a complimentary upgrade to first class.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  26. @23-
    i don’t think Patterico would try to use his position to counter his extra screening. Normal people don’t do that. Elected officials and celebs, possibly… but seriously…

    I have not yet been on a no-fly list, but I have had MANY random searches and extra screening in my travels. It was very irritating because my girlfriend and I were already late to the flight. Sure I could have gotten all fussy and raised a scene, but in all honesty, its easier, faster, and better to just let them search, comply with their requests and run like hell to the proper gate (yes, we made the flight, but by 15 seconds, i kid you not). Anyway, I was out in Denver on a camping trip / Dave Matthews Band concert at Red Rocks (on 9/11 of all dates). My camping gear included a portable/rechargeable bug zapper, which well, got scanned several times. The TSA agents were very friendly, talkative, professional and helpful despite the delay. Though a note to the readers, Don’t plan on flying back on a monday morning when camping out, as it requires you to take down the tent in pitch blackness, drive pretty flipping far to the airport, check in the rental car, and wait on the shuttle bus to get you to the airport on time… (and I do mean wait!) But know I’m the wiser and will be more prepared in future travel decisions.

    G (9280f1)

  27. There’s at least one leftist blog that has said “shame on me”
    The link in this post is to the earlier post, which was updated with a rather thorough deconstruction of the story that suggests, at a minimum, the good professor takes himself too seriously.

    kishnevi (6273ad)

  28. I also defended the Scooter Libby prosecution, but I supported the Miers nomination. So I’m only on the List when I’m flying west to east (or is it the other way around? I can’t remember).

    Beldar (5eaf07)

  29. Beldar,

    That would be east to west. You know, right to left?

    Dan S (053c02)

  30. “One time, when my flight was canceled due to “mechanical” problems (likely story), the “airline” (really Homeland Security) tried to break me by putting me in a Motel 6 for 12 hours. The motel’s TV system only had six channels –only six, that couldn’t happen by chance!”

    I bet two of those channels were Fox channels, too: the regular Fox channel and Fox “News.”

    How did you cope?

    Terry (bd91e7)

  31. I’m pretty sure it was Dick Cheney who made sure the kid sitting across the aisle from my wife and me, on the Anchorage-to-Fairbanks leg of our 2004 vacation, had an ear infection.

    We had been almost delayed at the Anchorage airport because we had to fly a different airline to get to Fairbanks, and the two airlines were in separate terminal buildings, and while we were waiting in line for the metal detectors somebody tripped the fire alarm in the terminal which put a stop to all inspections for at least ten minutes. Easily plenty of time to sneak the sick kid onto the plane.

    Come to think of it, maybe it wasn’t Cheney, it might have been Ted Stevens. The airport in Anchorage is named for him, and I’d been critical of him for some ten years by then.


    McGehee (5664e1)

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