Liberals and Airport Security

Hello Liberals, ye so-called true patriots and defenders of all that is good and fine in our troubled union.

Now that your tarnished lion is nursing a split jaw behind White House curtains, and as the Bush-spawned TSA is putting you through an i-see-your-hiney bodyscanner in vain search of that lone gramps with a shiv up his kilt, where is your powerful voice in defense of all that is good and fine?

There is nothing good and fine about the body scanner or the disgraceful pawing of American citizens as they prepare meekly to travel from Oklahoma City to Portland, Oregon by air. There is only blunt, careless, ineffective, insulting disruption of the fourth amendment of the United States Constitution in which we are protected against illegal search and seizure.

O Liberal, have ye lost your voice? Are ye now waking to the call of yon Partisan Idol who whispers to you that you must defend Bad in the long term interest of Good? So it seems. And it is certainly a surprise that the so-called Liberal Media has decided that, since Republicans seem to be leading the charge against invasiveness (because they are “against the government snicker snicker”), you must downplay and poo-poo the whole thing as Redi-Whipped hysteria.

American pollsters seem to say you are politically correct to do so–most Americans seem either to support the erosion of their own rights (didn’t need ‘em anyway!) as long as it provides that infinitesimally small measure of additional security for them that they will not be confronted with boxcutters while cramped on the way to Tampa. But Americans, having elected GWB not once but twice and then apparently duped by a man who claimed he was Change Itself, need not apply for the National Perceptiveness Award.

But you, Liberals! Ye who saw early the insane clown folly of the WMD farrago, who railed against torture and illegal detention, who bawled in our faces that we would have a Better, Finer America if only Liberals were empowered to see to our collective betterment–where are ye now that we are being driven like cattle to machine-enabled nakedness; or, if we refuse that, a ten-times-more disgraceful manhandling by rubber-gloved flunkeys (who probably mean well, as do so many flunkeys)? In either case our hands are up like perpetrators; cops are searching us as if we had been pulled over on the highway drunk like Charlie Sheen and shotgun shells littering the floor of our car.

We are stripped bare in the name of airtight security but without good reason or sense, and certainly no sensibility. And Liberals are just pretty okay with it for some reason only the electoral map can help us discern.

Our rights deserve better than that.

Hating on Air Travel

I am a hater.

Of air travel.

I did not used to be.

Now I try to avoid it unless it cannot be avoided (trips over 1500 miles; overseas).

The MAIN REASON: airport security.

One supposes there is an argument for all the security on airplanes these days but I doubt it could not be done as efficiently and at no inconvenience to the traveler. Our current mindset (post-Osama) is that rights can be abrogated without a second thought.

The dressing down at the gates had become distasteful enough (and time-consuming)–an exercise in authoritarian-induced paranoia and humiliation–but now we hear it’s to get worse, with more invasive pat-downs and full-body scans at the gate.

I actually don’t give a hoot about full-body scans. It does not inconvenience me. Let them do it for everyone at the airport, all the time. Fine. And if you find a weapon, go for it. Or, put an armed air-marshal on every flight (which cannot be more expensive than the current horror).

But the current innocent’s perp-walk through the officious security line reeks of the police state we have become, and I would love to know how many bombers have been caught this way. Can I have some hands for “none”? Maybe they are just being deterred. Or maybe we just had to stop being utterly effing lame about letting people on with weapons.

My personal opinion is that the TSA itself should be abolished and replaced with a police force trained to spot trouble. The notion that everyone must wait in line to be scanned and their liquids examined, seems lazy and wildly inconsiderate of the American “leave me alone” spirit. To me it seems a disgraceful waste and a huge entitlement program for security wannabes now dressed in gray and having far too much authority over the typical citizen traveler.

At worst, keep the TSA around for international flights and/or non-US Citizens. But the sight of US Citizens traveling from, say, LaGuardia to Tampa being patted down as if they are likely to be minions of Qaeda strikes me as a national disgrace.

In another post, I may complain about the tininess of airline seats but this is a consumer complaint and market driven, so there really is little in fact to complain about in writing but instead many plane tickets not to buy.

But I am a hater of the flying experience because my rights and privacy are brutally violated each time I encounter the security checkpoint. I feel it is a near certainty we are slowly being made immune to a near total lack of rights which may at some point become the norm. And like the frog that slowly boils in water, we will not notice until we are cooked enough to be nearly dead and able only to jerk spasmodically in anticipation of the total death of freedom.

The Real Tragedy of 2012

No, I am not predicting a Palin Presidency in the last year of the Mayan calendar.

Nor am I predicting that the tetrahedral energy fields inside the earth must realign in a couple of years, yanking as it were the tablecloth from underneath every living thing and every building and every mountain on the surface. And I’m not suggesting, either, the way a show called “2012: Shocking Secrets” (Syfy Channel) did, that there just may be an ancient archive beneath a certain random patch of sand in Egypt that would contain an Atlantean-inspired labyrinth structured in a manner to help us understand how to survive cataclysms–if only we could just find any evidence of it!

What I am saying is that if there’s ever a time when the cranks and simpletons turn out to be right, and that if it ever comes in the form of any sort of Armageddon that will prevent these paranoid, doom-obsessed oafs from ever having to go to those stupid jobs of theirs ever again, and if these oafs have succeeded in surviving the worldwide catastrophe by hunkering down inside an old missile silo (growing food and raising animals down there), then the tragedy for us all is that the genetic material passed on to the next round of human unfortunates will be of suspect quality indeed.

And perhaps this is why humanity has never progressed all that far in certain respects: because all the smart people are too busy studying the genome or writing great plays or building clever code bases for gaming devices while the very dumbest and most paranoid members of humanity are obsessed with locating bunkers where they might survive when the comet hits. And perhaps this has happened a few times over the course of the last few hundred thousand years (roughly as far back as when the first homos erectus apparently daubed paint on the walls of caves and made nightstands out of bear-skulls).

Perhaps the myths about prior golden ages are true–Atlantis, Mu, Lemuria, Middle Earth, the American 1950s–and what happened was that each was struck down by catastrophe but that all the musicians and teachers were killed in their conservatories while just a few cranks and oafs and ancient-text-thumpers were dumb enough to have spent their lives building underground shelters and also far too dumb to have recognized they ought to have preserved a few books for the edification of the new races of man that would succeed them.

It certainly seems possible today that the half-literate yoyos stockpiling generators, fuel and generic canned goods may, if they are lucky, survive the imminent flipping of the magnetic poles, or the arrival of Planet X (that will tear away large portions of the Earth); but they will have forgotten to preserve Mozart or Lou Reed or Thomas Mann or McSweeney’s and certainly not the means to create microchips, and so in a hundred thousand years when the great cities are rebuilt, those future humans will look back and wonder how those dopey men and women of eons past could have gotten along for so very many centuries without having developed any meaningful culture at all.

Isn’t that what we wonder today? Do we not try to puzzle out how men and women lived for two hundred and ninety-thousand years before anyone bothered to write anything down, and how culture seemed to arrive already in full flower? Is it possible that, say, a hundred thousand years ago there were some yobs building an underground haven to protect themselves from tetrahedral realignment, and that they alone survived but were kind of like the vapid cranks doing the same thing today and therefore would have been too stupid to have gotten access to and protected the magic crystals that provided free energy to all ancient races?

That prospect is the looming tragedy of 2012. Unless by some cruel twist of fate we get stuck with Sarah Palin as President, in which case all bets will be off.