We realize we’ve had several TSA posts over the last week or so – but we just can’t help ourselves. For one, it’s all over the news and Americans are outraged. Two, unless stopped, a fundamental shift in Americans’ individual liberty is taking place and where it will lead can be summed up in one word: tyranny.
Surprisingly, not everyone feels like their rights are being violated, including Bloomberg columnist Margaret Carlson who recently penned a piece attacking all of those would-be domestic extremist opt-outters as prudes for not wanting their nude bodies visible to anyone within eye shot of a backscatter.
Every so often we come across a mainstream argument that needs an opposing view. Today, that viewpoint comes from Margaret Carlson. We’ll list some of the main points from her article and add our commentary below.
To him [John Tyner], let me say, in another cliche of the moment, Man up! For a country where porn gets the most Internet traffic and the TV family hour is awash in sex, itâ€™s interesting that the place where weâ€™ve decided to get prudish is an antiseptic exercise where the purpose is to keep a 747 with 500 people on board from being blown up.
Not everyone surfs porn on the web or watches TV “family hour” awash in sex, Margaret. Some of us actually give a crap about what’s going on in the world and spend time reading, discussing and contemplating what is actually happening around us. And while you may watch a lot of TV and have been desensitized to individual privacy by reality television that is anything but, some of us like to keep our dignity and respect the personal privacy and property (and yes, that includes our bodies) of others.
We’re all concerned with keeping the 500 people flying on a 747 safe. Using your logic, since privacy and civil liberties don’t really matter, we should have every passenger completely strip, submit to anal probes, be handcuffed, drugged into an unconscious state and loaded onto an airplane like luggage – because, hey, it’s not about personal freedom; it’s about security.
Although Tyner and his fellow travelers make up a tiny segment of Americans, itâ€™s a loud segment ready for a close-up – – just not in front of a scanner. Local news crews race to the nearest airport to record every complaint. Talk-show hosts canâ€™t book the whiners fast enough.
It just so happens that the Tyner-like travelers out there more than likely outnumber the Margaret Carlsons. In discussing this particular issue with family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances, pretty much everybody agrees that the security procedures go too far, and most have chosen to not fly. The tiny segment of Americans you are referring to are likely the rest of the security-first, freedom-second government statists with whom you spend most of your time in the newsroom.
Like so much else, this problem is all the fault of Barack Obamaâ€™s socialistic Big Brother state when, in fact, the apparatus was built by President George W. Bush. After the World Trade Center fell, Bush — who ignored the warning that Osama bin Laden wanted to attack within the U.S. and likely by plane – – decided he had to do something fast. The last line of defense when all else fails, as it did on 9/11, was beefing up airport security.
Yes, this problem is all of Barrack Obama’s fault. Not only did he sign off on over $1 billion in funding which was used to purchase the machines, he just so happens to be the President of the United States, which last time we checked, means he’s the guy running DHS and the TSA. Trying to divert attention back to George Bush for a policy implemented under President Obama’s watch is a tactic taken from Saul Alinsky’s playbook and just doesn’t work on those of us who 1) don’t watch family television awash in sex 2) understand that whether the policies of tyranny are implemented by a republican or democrat, they are nonetheless restrictive to liberty.
There wasnâ€™t time to build it smart, but there was money to build it big. Republicans, even small government ones, ridiculed anyone who piped up about the wisdom of creating a gigantic bureaucracy or worried about privacy rights. Rush Limbaugh voiced the prevailing attitude: â€œIf youâ€™re sucking dirt inside a casket, do you know what your civil liberties are worth? Zilch, zero, nada.â€
Margaret, do you really think that it is only republicans who do not like to be probed and prodded by government agents? Again, this must be because of the tiny segment of Americans who you hang out with. You are still, without a doubt because you are a mainstream columnist, confused about what the original Tea Party movement was about. It’s not about republican or democrat. It is about putting a stop to the fraud and the tyranny of out of control governments and corporations. This gigantic bureaucracy just so happens to be the bastard child of republicans AND democrats.
“Give me liberty or give me death,” Margaret. Don’t you remember that one? Probably one they never would have taught in ‘journalism’ school. Do you know what being alive is worth when you’re sucking dirt in a country that has taken away your dignity, your livelihood and your ability to make anything of yourself? These new policies, and those of administrations past are doing just that. Patrick Henry saw it and he was never felt up by order of King George. We can only imagine what he and our founders would have thought of enhanced security procedures and people like you who are willing to let the government essentially strip search you through digital means and physically grope you. Even worse is that if it were up to you, you’d mandate these policies on the American people through the use of force.
So this holiday, letâ€™s honor our pact as citizens of Airport U.S.A. I go through security and so do you. You donâ€™t get to opt-out because we are all in this together. When the seat-belt sign goes off, pull down your tray table, release your seat from the full and upright position and drink to the friendly skies. Happy Thanksgiving.
Margaret, we didn’t make a pact with Airport U.S.A. We didn’t even make a pact with U.S.A. They have made a pact with us! We’re not all in this together in the sense that we are all sheep that can be herded at the whims of our benevolent shepherds. We are individuals, and regardless of what you think the collective should be, our Constitution is clear on these matters. We protect the individual first, and that begins with upholding those rights which are most dear. One of those rights, the 4th Amendment, is very applicable to the current situation and says that the government cannot, without probable cause or a warrant, search our homes or our persons.
Airport U.S.A. is not a government entity and the TSA serves at the pleasure of the airport administrators (though, most of them may not know that or choose to ignore it). If an airport and/or airline chooses to reject TSA assistance, they should be able to, as private entities, to hire their own security screening personnel. The passengers boarding the planes are big boys and girls, and are perfectly capable of making decisions on which airline they’d prefer to fly with. If a particular airline is found to have lax security, or stringent security, it should be up to travelers to decide if they do or do not want to fly with them.
And before you make the argument that once a plane is in the air it can be used as a bomb, we have a great solution for that too. You’ll love this one, Margaret:
- Put reinforced doors on all cockpits to make access to cockpits more difficult (wait, we have those already!)
- Allow pilots and copilots to carry weapons in their cockpits (yes, we know this one terrifies you Margaret, but don’t worry, if a pilot wanted to do harm to passengers or others, they could probably just crash the plane)
- Integrate emergency landing auto-pilot technology on all commercial airlines. If a plane is hijacked, auto-pilot can be immediately initiated by the crew or from the ground. We’re not airline software technicians, butÂ this can’t be too difficult to do. In fact, we could probably sell all those backscatter machines back to Michael Chertoff’s employer and get our billion dollars back to fund the new software!
There are plenty of unique solutions to deal with the security issues in our airports, but the current procedures are not them.
Israel would be a good model if we wanted to openly profile and risk getting a bad name. But what if our enemies profile themselves? We know who hates us and is intent on our annihilation. We also know the weapon of choice is an airplane.
God forbid the United States get a “bad name” in international circles for creating profiles of those who are most likely to board airplanes and engage in activity that is detrimental to those on board. Profiling just doesn’t make sense – what are those crazy Israelis thinking?!
A more common sense approach to security in airports is to force people through human-scaled microwaves; those who resist are to be physically groped, and in some cases, sexually molested. This may “give us a bad name” domestically, but so long as the international community isn’t bothered, it’s not a problem.
Yes, we know who “hates” us. And we also know they know we know. Sure, there’s always the chance that an Arab Muslim radical extremist would utilize Mission Impossible disguise technology to change their appearance into a white male wearing a veterans cap sitting in a wheel chair, but the chances that they’ll be able to change the appearance of their passport from Saudi Arabia to the United States are pretty slim.
The American people are rejecting these policies en mass, and not just because they are intrusive to travelers. It’s because the people know exactly what it leads to next.
As we pointed out in a previous article – the next step is buses, trains, malls, schools and any other public or private venue deemed a security risk by our government.