Michael Arato for Congress!

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One of the
Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) deviants at Newark
International Airport (yes, its full name is "Newark Liberty
International Airport," but I'm danged if I'll call a passengers'
prison "Liberty"), has "pleaded
guilty to stealing
thousands of dollars in cash and other valuables
from unsuspecting travelers, … during security screenings [sic
for u2018unconstitutional searches']." Michael Arato "also
admitted … to taking kickbacks from a subordinate officer, who stole
between $10,000 and $30,000 over the course of a year while Arato
agreed to look the other way."

These two
goons "allegedly
targeted predominately
non-English speaking victims, including
women of Indian descent and nationality who were returning home
after visiting the United States." They were "blatant"
— and brazen, and merciless — "in
their thievery
": once they
stole an envelope containing $5000
; another time, Arato and
his cohort split $1000 from a single theft; "on
a given shift
, Arato would pocket approximately $400 to $700
from passengers, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman";
he "even
[split] up the cash
in front of airport security cameras…"

As his name
implies, Arato is a rat. Of course, we knew that before his trial
and plea: only rodents agree to "work" for the TSA, rifling
our bags and groping us. And far from being a
sad aberration, as the TSA pretends
, The Rat's predations
typify
a bureaucracy where so many employees steal that its
spokesliars trot out boilerplate to excuse them: “The unfortunate
choices of a couple individuals should in no way serve as a reflection
on the more than 1,050 security officers at Newark … who conduct
themselves with professionalism and integrity and do an outstanding
job every day keeping the traveling public safe,” the
agency huffed this time
echoing
its falsehoods
from others:
"the action
of a few individuals in no way reflects on the outstanding job our
workforce does every day to ensure the safety of the traveling public.”

It's no wonder
theft runs rampant: the TSA makes it so convenient that only a chump
refuses to profit. It forces us to stand defenseless, separated
from our belongings, while its bullies explore our person and pockets
as thoroughly as would muggers in an alley. It also convinces those
bullies we are terrorists, worthy of whatever abuse they care to
dish out. If sexually assaulting us protects the nation's security,
imagine what miracles stealing from us will perform.

The Rat and
his accomplice are two more reasons in an endless list for abolishing
the TSA. But I quibble with the knee-jerk reaction of throwing him
in the clink ("Arato
faces a maximum of 15 years in prison
at his sentencing on May
24"). Why not condemn him instead to that whorehouse on the
Potomac and save some poor district the tedium of an election?

After all,
he's got the theft-thing down pat. And he even sees other people's
property the way Our Rulers do: he and his crony "discussed
how they did not feel bad stealing from foreign passengers who were
leaving the country with u2018our money.'”

Alas, The Rat's
a mere piker compared with the Feds. But give him a couple of terms,
and he'll catch up with their hostility against any citizen or company
daring to depart with "their" money. For instance, there's
the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). It magnanimously allows
us to "bring
into or take out of the country,
including by mail, as much
money as you wish. However, if it is more than $10,000, you will
need to report it to CBP." Why? Do free men suddenly become
slaves if they transport more than $10,000? "The penalties
for non-compliance can be severe." Ah, but the penalties for
compliance are worse: serfdom.

And remember
the hullabaloo in 2002 when Stanley Works mulled moving its headquarters
(though not its plant and, hence, its precious jobs) from Connecticut
to Bermuda? That would have saved the company and its shareholders
$30 million in taxes. You might think such a decision prudent, self-evident,
and belonging only to Stanley and its shareholders. But politicians,
bureaucrats and other busybodies disagreed: they considered Stanley's
affairs their own, just as they did its money.

Rep. Jim Maloney
(D-CT) introduced legislation intended to punish Stanley, "ensuring
that companies
reincorporating outside the US for tax reasons
are barred from US Defense Department contracts." Fine — but
why not bar all companies from contracts with any
department and end American fascism? Meanwhile, this ingrate's district
included Stanley's headquarters; we can safely presume its taxes
paid his salary and those of his staff and retainers. Yet “the amendment
… sends the message to corporate expatriates that they will no
longer be able to feed from the federal trough,” he sniffed. Unfortunately,
Baloney — sorry, Maloney announced no personal plans to quit feeding
at the federal trough; voters
terminated his pigging there later that year.

Other Congressional
thugs "sponsor[ed]
bills designed
… to close the loophole which permits the companies
to head overseas including Lloyd Doggett [D-TX]… Mr Doggett’s
staff point out that Stanley Works was claiming it would save $30m
in US taxes – while its total tax bill on foreign trading was just
$7m in 2001. In other words, they say, the company was looking to
bilk the Treasury out of $23m." How's that for governmental
logic?

In the end,
Stanley bowed to the pressure. It "held
an initial shareholders’ vote
on its Bermuda plan. Stanley said
it won the vote by slim margins, but it threw out the results after
it was sued by two state officials and was questioned by the [Securities
and Exchange Commission], presumably about the voting procedures
rather than the decision itself. Stanley had been planning a second
vote. The attorney general and the treasurer of Connecticut said
the second election was also flawed because the prospectus was misleading…
[US] House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) sent a letter to [Stanley
Chief Executive, John] Trani asking him not to reconsider the move."

Our Rulers'
success at intimidating Stanley emboldened them. Not only have they
continued trying to keep companies from leaving the country with
wealth they count as theirs, but they justify their thieving a la
The Rat. In 2005, Rep. Rosa DeLauro damned businesses that "set
up a shell corporation
in order to diminish their tax obligation
to the United States … some 25 or 26 corporations who have gone
offshore, you know, to dodge paying their taxes." A
leech for most of her life
, Robbin' Rosie has a huge and vested
interest in keeping her victims captives, but the fawning media
ignores that.

So the surprise
is not that The Rat stole so much for so long before Our Rulers
finally ended his spree but that they did not welcome him as one
of their own years ago. Kinda scary that this sociopath's been on
the loose among us innocents instead of in elective office, where
he belongs.

February
18, 2011

Becky
Akers [send her mail] writes
primarily about the American Revolution.

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