Playing It Safe

Let’s talk groping.

The TSA has stated that it has no immediate plans to change its policy on airport screenings. As it stands, would-be travelers have to choose between being subjected to very powerful radiation that essentially depicts them nude, or being groped by agents in very intimate fashion — all in the name of keeping dangerous items off the planes.

The media, normally the champion of rights to privacy and civil rights and leading the charge against governmental intrusion, are instead cheerfully reveling in their role as Obama administration cheerleaders and lapdogs and telling us to, essentially, lie back and think of England..

We are being told, in the interests of national and individual security, to accept the following as simply “the price of safety:”

A woman having her top ripped down publicly, then being teased and taunted about it.

TSA agents examining the prescriptions of travelers, and asking them very personal questions about the efficacy of certain drugs. Then the TSA agent examined her shopping receipts, and asked her why she was carrying several checks made out to her and her husband.

A cancer survivor being forced to remove her prosthetic breast.

A woman being forced to remove her nipple piercings.

A 71-year-old man with a prosthetic knee being forced to drop trou.

A bladder cancer survivor whose TSA screener refused to listen to the man explain his medical condition and devices — until the TSA agent ruptured the man’s urine collection bag and left him soaked, with no time to change before getting on the plane.

An ABC News producer who said the TSA agent shoved her hands down her underwear, getting to know her better than her gynecologist.

Not to mention all the videos and stories we’re hearing about children having their shirts removed, diapers examined, private parts patted, and the like.

On the flip side, we’re hearing that the new screenings are equally unpopular with the people on the other side of the latex gloves. TSA agents are complaining about being insulted and feeling degraded and humiliated at having to perform them at all.

So, we don’t like it and they don’t like it. That makes it fair, right? We should just suck it up, in the name of safety and security? It’s unpleasant, but it’s necessary, right?

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Fuck, no.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

In its nine years of existence, the TSA has not apprehended a single would-be terrorist. Not one. Zero. None. Nada. Oh, sure, they can talk about how their presence has deterred attacks, but that’s just as unverifiable as the “jobs saved” claims the Obama administration puts out.

Further, the TSA is looking for the weapons the terrorists have already used or tried to use. Thing is, the terrorists have never tried to repeat a tactic or re-use a weapon.

These screenings are utterly pointless and worthless, and a gross insult on the traveling public.

So the TSA agents don’t like them, either, but do it anyway because they’re professionals. So we should cut them some slack because they’re not the ones who set the policy, just the poor schlubs who get stuck with enforcing it?

Hell, no.

When a private business institutes a policy I don’t like, I don’t take it out on the cashiers. (Cue the Radio Shack’s “give me your ZIP code” policy.) I just take my business elsewhere — after telling the cashier just why I’m doing so, so they can pass along my displeasure. I’ve been in that position before, so I know how it can suck to enforce bad policies.

But that’s not an option with the TSA. They have no competitors. Further, I’m already paying their wages, as a taxpayer. So I feel entitled to express my displeasure to my employees.

But they don’t like it, either! Big deal. I bet there were plenty of Redcoats who didn’t want to be in the Colonies, and even some who sympathized with the American rebels. Didn’t matter. We couldn’t get at the policy-makers, so we took it out on the policy-makers’ lackeys who carried out the policies we didn’t like. The country hasn’t changed that much. Perhaps, if we put enough pressure on the TSA agents, they’ll be more encouraged to push back against their bosses — who we’re also pushing back against, too.

What’s really amazing is how many people who were outrageously outraged at some of the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism policies, such as listening in on the phone calls of people getting calls from known terrorists abroad, are now demanding that we forfeit the very privacy of our persons and simply trust the federal government to act in our best interests and respect our privacy in exchange for the privilege of getting on an airliner and traveling freely about the country and abroad.

No more. This far, and no further.

I’ve made it clear, many times, that I’m a proud citizen of New Hampshire. One element that captures why I’m so proud of being a Granite Stater is this excerpt from our Constitution — Article I, Section 10:

Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

Let me repeat that last sentence:

The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

Go ahead, make the arguments that the current TSA screenings don’t fit that to a tee.

Make my day.

Understanding the Middle East problem...
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