LAX Behavior

Cecile Pineda
6 min readJan 13, 2019

There’s nothing like airports to give social observers a litmus reading of a culture as my recent pass through LAX amply illustrates:

Fat people: Not only the U.S. national benchmark, obesity appears to be spreading world wide. There is nothing like an airport to show the observer ample examples of bulging waistlines and gargantuan behinds as they waddle through the check points. One can only infer that the food industry is farming a population when LA super market shelves budge with 18 varieties of sliced bread, all but one containing from 1 to 5 gms. of sugar.

Fast food: Airports are hamburgher havens. If you want to kill life on a planet be sure to go into beef cattle ranching. Americans happily munch away on their beef- and cheese- burghers, oblivious of any harm to the planet their luncheon choice may cause. It’s the national dish of an a-gastronomic nation, and nothing can dislodge it from the national taste buds, not even climate collapase.

Entitlement: White male entitlement is ubiquitous, not only in airports. One small incident stands out: The couple is in their 60s, he’s absorbed — where else — in his I-phone. His wife, a large, no nonsense woman who knows her place, wants to make sure he’s adequately fed. She brings him a menu. He selects while watching his I-phone. She returns with the chosen hamburgher. But it’s what she says as she delivers it: “Aren‘t you lucky there’s someone to bring you lunch without your having to raise a finger.” She’s a big girl, and fully aware of power alignments.

Security Theater: But the best, most telling display is security theater. It does nothing to enhance passenger safety, but it reassures the public, which trudges barefoot and complacent down the cattle chute, yanking screaming, terrified children behind them. Wheel-chair-bound Asian crones ask pleadingly how old they will have to be before not being required to remove their shoes, and die-hard resisters (I am one) demand a pat-down — just like any other routine criminal. I demand a public pat down because mine is a public act, an act of resistance. Of course, that public is so conditioned by now, nobody even notices an elderly female libertine having her breasts fondled — all except the kids. They know smut when they see it. They’re not brainwashed yet.

When the TSA patter downer demands I remove my shoes, I remind her I wear foot braces (ask Johnson & Johnson about their malpractice drug Levaquin) and require my shoes to stand. I extend my remarks: “This is theater,” I remind them each time. And in fact, the CIA can by–pass this ritual anytime they choose to escort an underwear bomber or any other operative on board, guns and all. So if any proof were needed, all this display of hyperactivity is very expensive theater, public entertainment, you might say. However, it’s something of an offset that agents are now serving without pay. Airports are becoming clogged and have to shut down early with an overflow of passengers because of increased daily call-ins by disgruntled agents who demand their pay to play.

From 2016–2021, the market value of airport full body scanners is expected to rise from $79 million to $118.3 millions of dollars. Michael Chertoff, 2005–9 Secretary of Homeland Security under the Bushling, has happily pocketed millions on his investment.

Tell Democrats: keep holding the line on border wall funding at

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/dems_shutdown_2019?t=2&akid=31133%2E216994%2EEd5sJc

Demand no oil drilling or testing in Arctic Refuge at

https://petitions.signforgood.com/NoArcticDrilling/?code=KOS&redirect=https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/dkresistance?source=201812NoArcticDrilling_DK&link_id=12&can_id=655968a96e1bce05c463b2f640bf633c&email_referrer=email_476734&email_subject=cartoon-unlikable

Demand Homeland Security recognize seeking asylum is a legal right at

https://www.dailykos.com/campaigns/petitions/sign-the-petition-to-the-department-of-homeland-security-seeking-asylum-is-a-legal-right?detail=emailaction&link_id=1&can_id=655968a96e1bce05c463b2f640bf633c&source=email-lies-lies-and-more-lies-please-read&email_referrer=email_475913___subject_614347&email_subject=100000-signatures-needed-seeking-asylum-is-a-legal-right-let-the-refugees-in

Urge your members of Congress to support reopening the government, but be sure to write in to withhold all legislation until the government is reopened at

http://edadvocacy.nea.org/app/write-a-letter?2&engagementId=495136&ep=AAAAC2Flc0NpcGhlcjAxta13AwKJiPb4WshgvxeAtb6Nz8D8bDfXykSzR4VTyR-5w0CR9rPnL0M04fatEzPJcJKX4jQEL5i7I-JB91oWNic3_Xxw53gcX4BFkVrGYoI&lp=0

Resistance

5.5 million women formed a 620-kilometer wall across the length of the Indian state of Kerala (population 35 million) urging Parliament to allow women into the Sabrimala temple in southern Kerala.

Using civil disobedience, protesters close road to Kaapelinkulma gold mine.

Immigration

New Dem committee chair summons Kirstjen Nielsen to testify about ‘outright lies’ with scathing letter.

Judge Temporarily Halts Surprise Arrests of Up to 2,000 Cambodian Refugees.

Global Warming/Sustainability

Energy efficiency powers UK back to 1994 level of electricity generation, now one-third renewable.

Portland now generates electricity from turbines installed in city water pipes.

600 groups call for visionary climate action as momentum builds for #GreenNewDeal.

The Seongdaegol community contemplates the first-ever Korean youth climate litigation when 50 youths and nine lawyers learnt that not a single candidate addressed the climate change issue in their manifesto.

Skip the slip is introduced in the California legislature.

Both Clorox and Ascena Retail Group will not renew membership in the Plastic Industry Association in 2019.

Clean energy revolution rises with Midwest utilities switching to solar.

New Democrats propose network of public banks to fund a Green New Deal.

Southern Illinois to revive economy with industrial help.

All-girl engineering team invents solar-powered tents for homeless.

In Ethiopia, Samson Tsegaye Lemma’s determination leads to villages lit with solar energy.

Recent protests rally against the widespread destruction of trees to make way for development in India’s burgeoning urban areas.

India gets first-ever clean air program.

Group members of the Sunrise Movement recruit support for Green New Deal on Capitol Hill, enrolling 45 members of Congress.

With nationwide tour targeting untapped youth power, Sunrise Movement aims to make #GreenNewDeal inevitable.

Supreme Court blocks ExxonMobil’s efforts to conceal decades of documents in probe of oil giant’s climate deception.

Florida’s Republican governor initiates process banning fracking in state and opposing drilling off Florida’s coasts.

Manoa University researchers partnering with the Wildlife Conservation

Society, find link between forest conservation and coral reef preservation.

Peace

Award-winning journalist, William Arkin quits NBC over relentless support for war.

Public pressure could halt US Support of Yemen War.

Invoking the 1973 War Powers Resolution, Senate votes 54–41 to cease funding war in Yemen.

Mairead Maguire nominates Julian Assange for Nobel Peace Prize.

Domestic Politics

New York Mayor de Blasio unveils guaranteed health plan for all N.Y.C. residents regardless of immigration status or income..

Rep. Jennifer Wexton hands trans pride flag outside her D.C. office.

Minnesota’s Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan is first Ojibwe woman to be elected to public office.

New Congress sees largest Hispanic caucus membership since group’s founding.

Democratic House majority unveils sweeping package of voting rights reforms.

First openly bisexual Senator takes oath of office under Mike Pence’s horrified eyes.

Bipartisan group of lawmakers introduce bill to extend universal background checks to all firearms sales.

Tennessee governor grants clemency to sex-trafficking victim sentences to life in prison at age 16.

Panel says politicians can’t block voters on Facebook.

Five-year jail terms sought for ex-Tepco executives over Fukushima nuclear disaster. (Not decapitation?)

Ocasio-Cortez 70% tax rate (meaning 70% after the first million) is moderate, evidence-based policy, which works in Sweden.

Celebrating Cyntoia Brown’s Clemency, Rights Advocates Vow to Continue Fighting for Human Trafficking Survivors Behind Bars

Mainers celebrate swearing-in of new governor Janet Mills, a competent Democrat who promises to expand health coverage and fight climate change.

Progressives pressure Senate Dems to stonewall any and all bills that don’t end #45’s shutdown.

Historic amendment to the Florida Constitution restores the voting rights of as many as 1.5 million former felons.

Eight-city Marriot hotel worker’s strike, the result of years of organizing by the workers themselves, wins living wage and reduced workload concessions.

Supreme Court declines GOP request to stay lower court ruling ordering lawmakers to redraw 11 Virginia State House districts discriminating against black voters.

Court decision allows Green Party to proceed with groundbreaking examination of voting machine software without gag rule sought by voting machine corporations.

84% Dem voters support Medicare for All, and urge party leaders to make it ‘extreme priority.’

Program doubling the spending power of food stamp recipients who buy fresh produce gets more funding.

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