Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The War on Terrorism is Over: We Lost

This blog is usually for stock market commentary and forecasts, but this is an issue too important to ignore, particularly with the upcoming holiday travel season just getting underway. I hate to break it to you but the War on Terrorism is over, and we lost. Yes, it's true. A few dozen suicidal lunatics armed with nothing more than box cutters, exploding shoes, and flaming underpants have managed to make a mockery of the United States Constitution and turn our country into a police state that would have made Adolf Hitler proud. I'll bet the Gestapo would have loved to have machines that could see you naked under your clothes. For that matter, our own TSA is getting to resemble the Gestapo more and more on a daily basis.

If you have any plans to fly commercially now, get ready to check your Fourth Amendment rights (you know, that's the one prohibiting unreasonable searches) at the door when you check your bags. You can now expect to be placed in a machine that bombards you with x-rays that can see right through your clothing and produce a nude picture of you for the titillation of some TSA voyeur in his own personal peep show room off to the side.

And forget all the TSA nonsense about how the images are "blurred" or just "outline sketches". They have five different modes or varying detail, along with a software "magnifying glass" the operator can move about to examine ahem, "areas of interest". I'll bet. And if you refuse to be subjected to the humiliation and indignities of this creepy system, you then have the "option" of getting the hands-on "groin check" from another TSA goon in a process that would get them thrown in jail if they tried it on a stranger in the street. And if you refuse that "option", you apparently will now be subject to arrest, evidently for having the temerity to assert your rights as a citizen.

It would be one thing if this outrageous new invasion of privacy actually did anything for airline security, but it doesn't. The TSA is always one step behind, fighting the last threat that will never happen again. The box cutter hijackings stopped as soon as the passengers realized that they had to stand up to them instead of cooperating. One idiot tried to blow up his shoe, just one - so now everyone has to take their shoes off. It never happened again. Then we got some never fully explained threat of "liquid bombs", so now you can't take a tube of toothpaste with you anymore. Then some moron set his underwear on fire, bringing us to the sorry state we find ourselves in now with virtual strip searches and groin checks.

What's next? Well, it should be pretty clear. The final frontier for these Moslem psychotics is to use the same techniques drug smugglers have used for years. And it should be clear where that will lead, since the current machines don't "see beneath the surface of the skin". Are you up for a colonoscopy before every flight? Does that sound absurd? Would anyone have believed the current state of things 20 years ago?

Not to mention the complete idiocy of subjecting the pilots to these sorts of things. Hello - once the pilot is locked inside the cockpit behind those new Fort Knox bank vault doors all the airlines installed to keep bad guys out, the plane is going anywhere they feel like, no matter what they did or did not bring on board. The stubborn failure of the TSA to even acknowledge the stupidity of this just makes them look like idiots.

Bottom line: enough is enough! We, the traveling public, must draw a line somewhere while we still have any freedom left at all in this great country. I urge everyone who reads this to call and write to their congressional representatives and demand that they put a stop to this outrage. Here's a sample suggestion:

I am writing to you for help with the outrageous new methods being forced on air travelers by the TSA, specifically the digital strip search machines and their equally creepy alternative, the so-called "groin check".

It would be one thing if these outrageous invasions of privacy actually did anything to improve safety, but they don't. Make no mistake, the "safety argument" is a non-starter. What this is about is a government bureaucracy gone wild and doing something simply because it believes it can steamroller the American public. This is a ploy on the part of the TSA to justify their existence and promote the illusion of security.

I won't even go into the obvious and egregious violations of the Fourth Amendment involved here. This new Gestapo-like behavior by the TSA must stop. Enough is enough! I realize you don't have a personal stake in the matter since you get the VIP treatment end-to-end, but please have some pity for the ordinary citizens who are now being subjected to a degrading and humiliating experience that violates the basic liberties we hold dear as Americans, not to mention common decency.

I appeal to you to do something to rein in the TSA and put an end to the strip-searching and groin checking. This has gone WAY too far. Thank you.

And if you're still not convinced, check out these web sites:

flyersrights.com and

Some of the stories there are as scary as they are appalling.

Go to the US Travel Association and fill out their survey to tell them what you think of this.

And if you want to see for yourself the TSA's own policy manual, you can find it here.

Oh and, by the way, if you're wondering whether all these rules apply to TSA employees, well they don't. They have exempted themselves from the groin check (it's all in the manual). And at the big unveil of the scanners, Janet Napolitano, head of the TSA, declined to go through for the demo, assigning the task to one of her flunkies. Members of Congress, to the surprise of absolutely no one, are also exempt.

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