Isn’t living in Trumpland America just as exciting as all get out?  Really!  Hardly a day goes by now where there isn’t some revelation about evil doing and underhandedness by some Trump Team member or Steve Bannon/Steve Miller telling us all just how bad is the American democratic system and about how diligently they are working every single day to tear it down.  Don’t forget, we are reminded, Donald Trump was non-elected to rip apart all of our existing institutions and replace them with something that resembles the Trump/Republican replacement for Obamacare or the ACA if you still think that the two are entirely different programs.   Comforting, no? 

All the liberal bloviating over the Muslim ban, EPA Director, Scott Pruitt's, ties to the oil and coal industry, the obliterating of USDA’s the puppy mill list, the selling of the Grand Canyon, more tax cuts for the rich, anti-Education Secretary Betsy Vos, is, so we are told, mere bad vibes and spoiled elite crybaby tears in reaction to Hillary Clinton having non-lost the election to Herr Trump.  The dicey town hall meetings where hundreds of folks are challenging sitting Republican Congressmen by yelling at them and pointing out how dumb or hypocritical or lazy or stupid they are?   We are told by the Trump Team that all these protesters are being paid by George Soros just like the millions of women protesters around the world who demonstrated when Trump was inaugurated. 

Okay.  So we liberals are essentially being asked to shut up and sit down by the Trump Administration in the face of the most extraordinary violations of Constitutional rights and American values in decades.  In centuries.  In history.  Whatever.  Remember when Sean Spicer and your President declared that the Travel Ban was not a Muslim Ban even though it only applied to Muslims from the seven Muslim countries who never spawned a single terrorist on American soil?   Or when we were told a million times that the Immigration deportation effort was not some uncontrolled massive dragnet that would catch women, children, law abiders and anyone and everyone who was not here legally for whatever reasons or under whatever circumstances? 

Remember all these comforting assertions by the Trump Team? 

The following event seems to have really happened – seems not to be “fake news” – even though it sounds as if it could have been ripped from an episode of 1970's television show “Amerika” which was the fictionalized account of the Soviet Union’s peaceful takeover of the Uniteds States. 

Yesterday some couple of hundred passengers on Delta Flight No. 1583 from San Francisco to New York’s JFK Airport were required by ICE to show ID’s before they were allowed to leave the plane.  Yup!  Delta Flight No. 1583 was not arriving from Mexico City or Riyadh or Mosul since it was a domestic and not an international flight.  Passengers were given no reason for the unwarranted, unconstitutional search and apparently all complied.  I’m not an attorney, but under what authority were the two ICE agents working since their purview does not reach to domestic airline operations? Or is it that the new Customs and Border Patrol folks are no longer limited in their actions by the United States Civil Code?     

If the plain facts of the incident aren’t chilling enough, the “reason” for the mandatory ID Check is even more frightening.  You see, the ICE agents were searching for an undocumented alien that they apparently believed might have been on this flight.   Now, the unidentified alien had been convicted in a California court several times on domestic abuse charges, driving while under the influence and defying a protective order.    Now, while I can be skeptical of the efficiency of police departments and the court system, it defies the imagination that there isn’t a description of the man convicted multiple times by a real court and – God alone knows – a photograph of said ID search target?   A PHOTOGRAPH?  NO!  THERE COULDN'T BE AN ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPH IN THE OFFICIAL FILES OF A CONVICTED CRIMINAL THAT ICE COULD HAVE USED TO CATCH THIS GUY RATHER THAN FORCING A PLANELOAD OF PEOPLE TO SHOW THIER ID'S?

This totally defies logic and lacks rationality and, for me, is so serious and odious a breach of the Constitution as to prevent me from making snide remarks about this incident.  What I will say is that despite all the exhortations about how the illegal alien roundup is not a dragnet, I don’t know, then, into what category one should place the Delta Airlines Flight No. 1583 mandatory ID check.  This is exactly the kind of "official action" one would expect in Putin’s Russia or in today’s North Korea.  But here in the United States of America?  Or is it “Amerika”?   

Here’s the reasoning given to the press by the Customs and Border Protection agency for the mandatory ID search:

According to a CBP spokesman, the agency “was contacted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) yesterday, February 22, 2017, to assist in locating an individual possibly aboard Delta flight 1583 from San Francisco International Airport to JFK. This individual was ordered removed by an immigration judge.”
“To assist our law enforcement partners, two CBP officers requested identification from those on the flight in order to help identify the individual,” he added. “The individual was determined not to be on the flight.”

Here's what a passenger had to say:

Garrett, a video editor at VICE News who was traveling for personal reasons, said the incident occurred as passengers disembarked Delta Airlines flight 1583 from San Francisco. According to Garrett, shortly after the plane landed at about 7:45 p.m., a member of the flight crew announced over the plane’s intercom that all passengers would have to show their “documents” to CBP officers in order to exit the aircraft.

“People were like, ‘What does that mean? Do I need to show my ticket?’” Garrett recalled. A few moments later, Garrett said, a flight crew member clarified that passengers would need to show their passport or another form of government-issued identification.

Garrett said two CBP agents in blue uniforms were waiting as she stepped off the plane and onto the jet bridge. She offered her driver’s license and asked for more information but did not receive a response.

“I said, ‘Why do you need to see this?’ He just took it out of my hand,” Garrett said. “It’s a tough situation to be in because everybody wants to get off the flight. You don’t want to be the one holding up the line.”

Now it occurs to me perhaps local police departments might have the authority to remove passengers from domestic flights or Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers might or air marshals but Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents?  This incident just puts to lie all the comforting statements about how the immigration actions are not “a dragnet" and not a “military type operation” because the search of Delta Airlines passengers on Flight 1583 from San Francisco to New York clearly says otherwise.  It boggles the mind. 

So far, I haven’t seen this incident covered on the morning news programs.   On the other hand, all the air is being sucked out of America’s atmosphere because it has been revealed that the Trump Administration actually requested that the FBI kill all the intelligence chatter about Russian connections during the Trump campaign.    Apparently, in what can only be called a revelatory moment of Constitutional clarity, FBI Director, James Comey, refused.

Me?  I'm hopeful that I would have refused the request to show my ID in order to be allowed to exit a flight.  I'm not sure I would have, but as I sit here I'm recalling my recently voiced objection to the extra intimate special body search in Hamad International Airport in Doha by a rather good looking young Arab man as I was boarding my flight back to D.C.  But then maybe the guy just had a hard on for me personally.    

As I said, living in Trumpland America is just so full of excitement and terror.  It’s just as if we were caught up in a bad dream that keeps getting badder and badder every day.   Today's news: FBI refuses Trump request to skotch Russia intel; Bannon calls for the  "deconstructing" of America;   

Any more questions?

Have A Good Day Folks!   


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