November 23, 2010
TSA, 2 ; America, 0
There are still some to whom it seems alarmist to assert that the execrable Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is in a purposeful confrontation with the American people. A blue-uniformed, official, we-always-win confrontation. No, they're just trying to do the right thing and keep the skies safe.
So what if the TSA's attitude seems quickly to have come up to speed with and fallen in behind that of a rather famous frequent flier whom nobody pats, and who has advised, "Don't think we're not keeping score, brother"?
And who cares if no less an authority than the former director of TSA security operations, Mo McGowan, said last Tuesday that "[n]obody likes havin' their fourth amendment violated goin' through a security line, but the truth of the matter is, we're goin' to have to do it." 'Course, he could have been just kiddin'.
So if you're one of those who still needs proof, look no further than the example -- piteous and infuriating -- of what they did to Thomas Sawyer, 61 ("TSA pat-down leaves traveler covered in urine") (Baskas, Harriet, datelined 11/20/2010 7:16:18 PM ET).
Mr. Sawyer's urostomy bag seal was ruptured by the ministrations of TSA sensitivity-training-dropout goons, who used their hands if not quite like doctors, then not quite unlike gorillas, and who afterward pretended not to recognize the consequences to Mr. Sawyer: mortifying hours of walking and sitting in enforced wretchedness, drenched in his own waste. Sue 'em, Tom!
The article referenced the "enhanced pat-down by TSA officers." This was a frisk the way a loan shark's beating is a "tune-up." Come off the euphemistic palliatives, Ms. Baskas. Or at least make sure you use "so-called" to characterize the "pat-down." Pat-downs are quick external sweeps that look for things like ankle-holstered guns, shivs, and knucks. And box-cutters and nail files. Making a non-threatening, middle-aged, non-suspect, post-op, disfigured cancer survivor take off his clothes and then roughing him up and rupturing his medical device is kidnapping, assault, and battery. Not to mention the intentional infliction of considerable mental anguish.
No, it appears from the wanton and callous behavior of these TSA cretins that they have carte blanche discretion to mess you up before they send you on your way, no consequences, and no foul. Like a sharpster who deftly trips you on a crowded street, catches you before you hit the ground, and then pretends it was an accident, taking your wallet as he steadies you back up. His mock-solicitous "Are you OK?" equates to the TSA's "You're cleared, have a nice day." Somehow you feel that something bad's just happened to you.
But this is the real nature of the warped game at which the TSA is playing for keeps: there's no way for the law-abiding citizen to win.
Here's what I mean. The traveler has a perfectly ordinary Hobson's choice: be irradiated and seen naked by strangers or be palped by one of those strangers with who-knows-whose effluvia on those powder-blue gloves. That's it. If you don't like it, don't fly. And adding injury to insult, the TSA now threatens to fine you $11,000 if you get the willies and try to chuck it in and just go home after making the mistake of first getting on line and then rejecting both the ionizing ogle ray and the blue glove. No, sir, no. You're not going anywhere.
(And by the way, how often do they change those gloves? At the deli where I get my bagel, the counterman uses a new disposable glove for every customer. But then again, the TSA "pat-down" area doesn't have a jar for tips.)
Many private and public persons -- Jesse Ventura being one of the recent latter -- have opted for the status of non-flier. He's admitted it may end his career. By making this choice, however, you lose, too. You've got some place you've gotta go: business, pleasure, funeral, whatever. How are you free -- and how free are you -- if government policy is so odious that you feel forced to turn on your heel, cancel your trip, and go home?
So: you get x-rayed (and uploaded someday -- see you online!) or you get felt up. You're scanned-or-crammed-if-you-do-and-banned-if-you-don't. Or else you pay up big time to get out. Three choices that add up to zero.
Here's how they keep score, brother. Submit to your choice of x-ray or grope and be humiliated: that's plus-one for the TSA, minus-one for the victim. TSA's two up. Or forgo the humiliation, relinquish your freedom of movement, and head home: one point to Big Brother, deduct one from new homebody victim. TSA's up two again. TSA and Big Brother are on the same team. And they want a populace that's uncomfortable, cowed, ill-at-ease, puzzled, trepidatious, immobilized, inconvenienced, huddled, shrunken, and anxious. Sound familiar?
Where does that leave Team America? Right now, it leaves us under the heavy thumb of the appalling Janet Napolitano, the Doyenne of Dumbistan, as torpid as she is imperious. And she dances to the tune of oberst Obama. But this is just what happens when an anticonstitutional president -- and one of a provenance he will not or cannot substantiate -- uses extraconstitutional means to emplace unconstitutional measures. He's bringing meaningful change to Washington, all right.
How to fix? Simple to see, really, for you and me. Or for a president who actually meant the oath he bobbled. Do what the Israelis do. Train intuitive, intelligent, perceptive tough guys to visually check everyone; leave the grannies and three-year-olds mostly alone; stare down the ones that feel "wrong," and get to work on them. Do lots and lots of racial profiling of the right kind of people. Seen many Jewish and Christian bombers in the news lately? Me neither.
But all that would require that the president do two things that are against his religion and his training at the Church of Wright: (1) acknowledge that jihadist Muslims are the problem; and (2) admit that the Israelis know how to handle it.
Don't look for either of those to happen too soon. Methinks we'll be at odds with the TSA for a while longer yet.