For context, part one is here.
The thing about 9/11 is that it basically ruined it for the old-fashioned hijackers. Remember those guys from Liberia (or some such country over there) who would hijack a plane, land it in Cuba, and demand a one million dollar ransom? (If only they waited, they could’ve skipped the FBI hassle and went on a reality TV show to win their million.)
Over. That gig is up. The lesson the world learned from 9/11 is that if you hijack a plane, everyone in the exit row will jump your butt, put you in a choke-hold, and kill you by stuffing peanut packages down your airway. I bet there are no 70 virgins for that.
I can’t help but imagine there are a group of guys with turbans in a middle eastern cave watching CNN news on a Chinese TV with tinfoil antennas and laughing themselves silly.
You can not take 4 ounces of shaving cream on an airplane, but you can take two 32 ounce containers of kerosine just as long as it’s labeled “Saline Solution”. Ahem.
After my last post of tongue-in-cheek TSA snark, I’m surprised about the lack of much push back on my blog or on Facebook. It could be that everyone I know has a life. True, true. I know that when I disagree with someone online, I don’t necessarily take time out of my day to tell them so.
But if the number of people going through naked body scanners vs. the number of people opting out –which on the day that I witnessed, was precisely ZERO– is any indication of the outrage, I don’t get it.
And perhaps I’m preaching to the choir (a very small choir or maybe an ensemble). But the longer I sit here and stew about the three TSA agents, who are paid for with my tax dollars, hovered over some lady that plays the piano and writes some cheeseball blog instead of the guy flying into the country without a passort, giving me the impression that (1) I was stupid for asking questions, (2) they had some sort of authority that wasn’t a farce, and (3) made me feel “bad” for noncompliance, mocking me for not “knowing better” –the more I think we are past the point of no return.
The fourth amendment is “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
If it does not apply here, then where? Where and when does it apply? I can not find the asterick and footnote.
When I unboarded the plane in Louisville, a group of police officers were waiting in the terminal. My first thought was not, “Hmm. I wonder what they’re here for,” but rather, “Oh my gosh. The government reads my blog and I am so toast.” Greg thought so too, and so he pretended like he didn’t know me.
From my perspective, as a woman, I believe that if I have committed no crime, given no cause for search or seizure, then I have the right to maintain the privacy of ….say, my menstrual cycle. If you are a menstruating woman and walk through the naked scanner, the TSA goon squad, those people with permanent Bad Mood Disorder, know.
As a woman, a very private woman, I choose to share my body with two people: my husband and my doctor. When I visit my doctor, it is only because I have gotten recommendations, talked with him in his office before I let him touch me so that I can be sure he is neither a pervert nor stupid, and then I pay him money on my own volition to screen me for cancer. It is my choice.
What the government does with these new invasive procedures is give us a Sophie’s Choice, that is, an impossible one. Comply with nude screening or lose your job (in my husband’s case).
Rights are not given to us by the state but by God. The Constitution recognizes this. Were rights given to us by the state, then the state would also have the right to take them away.
So as citizens of this country, I wonder then, don’t we have the choice, no, the obligation to resist in every possible way when the state overreaches its power? If we don’t resist, then we concede this power to the state and we de facto recognize the state as the Giver of Rights? Is that what we’re doing when we comply?
Forgive me for a minute, but I am feeling patriotic. Would the men and women who have given their lives in service of our country, defending our Constitution, consider our letter writing, our blogging, our “opting out”, or maybe even an $11,000 fine and a night in jail too great a sacrifice?
Someone wrote, “If these measures prevent one plane from going down, it will all be worth it.”
Not to me. Not to me.
We can not have a temporary perspective on this. It is too short-sighted, too weak, too unAmerican to cede our Constitution because of some Uzi toting cave man with no running water in the Middle East want to put a homemade bomb in their underwear.
I asked my husband yesterday, “If this were about safety, then why has the government refused to close our borders?” Couldn’t some terrorist walk over the Mexican border, maybe even choosing the safe part for terrorists– the part on American soil where the feds told us Americans not to go because it was too dangerous because of the cartels? I am simple like that.
“Shut up. That would make sense. Oh just stop,” he answered.
The lives of countless American citizens were given over the past few hundred years just for this. They died so that we could have our Constitution and our 4th amendment. We dishonor their sacrifice with our fear.
The other teensy-weensy problem is that our Constitution already defines who we are supposed to be. If liberals and fake conservatives want to insist everyone be pumped with carcinogenic radiation before you travel, then you should probably look at setting camp some place where you can make those rules. Maybe Antarctica will carve off an island for you. Or save the trouble of finding an icepick (they might be dangerous) and move to North Korea.
Nobody has to take our freedom away, we just keep giving it. The people who died in defense of all of that would be ashamed.
It was Benjamin Franklin who wrote, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”