Daily Archives: November 21, 2010

George Will: Life in the T.S. of A.

WASHINGTON — Fifty years ago William F. Buckley wrote a memorable complaint about the fact that Americans do not complain enough. His point, like most of the points he made during his well-lived life, is, unfortunately, more pertinent than ever. Were he still with us he would favor awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he received in 1991, to John Tyner, who, when attempting to board a plane in San Diego, was provoked by some Transportation Security Administration personnel.


Don’t Touch My Junk

WASHINGTON — Ah, the airport, where modern folk heroes are made. The airport, where that inspired flight attendant did what everyone who’s ever been in the spam-in-a-can crush of a flying aluminum tube — where we collectively pretend that a clutch of peanuts is a meal and a seat cushion is a “flotation device” — has always dreamed of doing: pull the lever, blow the door, explode the chute, grab a beer, slide to the tarmac and walk through the gates to the sanity that lies beyond. Not since Rick and Louis disappeared into the Casablanca fog headed for the Free French garrison in Brazzaville has a stroll on the tarmac thrilled so many.


Woe be unto those who assert their constitutional rights

Arrogant. Incompetent. Ineffective. Deceitful. Bullying. And very, very expensive. TSA epitomizes the federal government under Barack Obama.

TSA is the acronym for the Transportation Security Administration. But for those air travelers who it forces to make an ugly choice, TSA also has come to stand for Touch Sensitive Areas.

Most air travelers go through metal detectors before they’re allowed into the boarding area. But some are selected at random for more rigorous scrutiny. This consists either of going through a full body scanner or, if the passenger declines that, of a rigorous pat down. . .

. . . Because those chosen to undergo these procedures are selected not because they are thought to pose a threat, but because they are 12th or 14th in line, the body scans and invasive pat-downs do next to nothing to enhance security.

And because the victims are chosen at random, the scans and pat downs may violate the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches.


The Audacity of Grope

As columnist Charles Krauthammer pointed out, Americans have taken to a new slogan which neatly encapsulates their consternation regarding airport security.  It was inadvertently coined by John Tyner, a 31-year-old software programmer from Oceanside, California.  When he refused to allow a Transportation Security Administration official to administer a pat-down near his private area, he uttered a phrase which has resonated nationwide:  ”You touch my junk, and I’m going to have you arrested.”  Yet as a Senate hearing on Wednesday indicated, the TSA is not backing down. TSA administrator John Pistole says he is sensitive to privacy concerns but insists that “government must provide the best possible security for air travelers.”  Thus, the inevitable question: is this the best possible security government can provide? It is hard to reach that conclusion when one considers the salient issues surrounding the controversy.

. . . The second issue is our apparent determination to ignore the most successful airport security strategy currently in use.  Israelis have a far more effective and far less invasive and time-consuming system.  Why?  Because it is the exact opposite of ours: in America the focus is on finding an explosive device.  In Israel, the focus is on finding the person carrying the explosive device.


Expert: TSA scans would let al-Qaida duplicate 9/11 – Brigitte Gabriel warns unless U.S. starts profiling, nation is vulnerable

 A terrorism expert says the invasive screening procedures demanded by the Obama-run Transportation Security Administration would do almost nothing to stop a determined terrorist because they already are experimenting with inserting explosives in a body cavity or even surgically implanting the destructive charges.

. . . “These procedures are not effective at all with terrorists,” Gabriel told WND in an interview today. “If a true terrorist wants to go blow up an airplane, these machines will not detect it.”

She said like drug dealers already have proven, substances hidden inside body cavities or even embedded surgically remain undetected by any or all of the TSA’s procedures.


Napolitano: The ball’s in my court now – Ann Coulter

After the 9/11 attacks, when 19 Muslim terrorists — 15 from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates and one each from Egypt and Lebanon, 14 with “al” in their names — took over commercial aircraft with box-cutters, the government banned sharp objects from planes.

Airport security began confiscating little old ladies’ knitting needles and breaking the mouse-sized nail files off of passengers’ nail clippers. Surprisingly, no decrease in the number of hijacking attempts by little old ladies and manicurists was noted.

. . . If the government did nothing more than have a five-minute conversation with the one passenger per flight born outside the U.S., you’d need 90 percent fewer Transportation Security Administration agents and airlines would be far safer than they are now.

Instead, Napolitano just keeps ordering more invasive searches of all passengers, without exception — except members of Congress and government officials, who get VIP treatment, so they never know what she’s doing to the rest of us.


The Age of Dissimulation – The post-modern elite and its war against truth . . .


In a recent Jerusalem Post article, columnist Caroline Glick labels our time the “Age of Dissimulation,” since “[t]oday our leading minds devote their energies and cognitive powers to figuring out new ways to hide reality from themselves and the general public.” One of these ways, adopted by the postmodern elite of academics, politicians, media mavens and many public intellectuals, is to reduce what was once called “truth” to mere interpretation. In the casual hermeneutics of the day, there is no such thing as “truth,” there is only advocacy, assumption, perspective, or what is now designated as “narrative.” (Even newscasters are fond of the word “story” to introduce a news item.) To use the current jargon, truth has been “problematized” and standards of objective reference have been superseded by a climate of epistemological relativism.

The joke is that many of our revisionist “thinkers” know very well what truth is, otherwise they would be logically disqualified from establishing the argument for interpretation—that is, for the contingent or constructed nature of all truth claims—as a self-evident truth. They want to have their latte and sip it too. And of course, when they are not contorting themselves in the coils of theory, our “leading minds,” who cluster on the left of the social and political continuum, do in fact subliminally recognize that there exist certain truths which they find threatening to their worldview. As Glick points out, they will therefore strive to suppress or spin these unwelcome truths in order to deceive the public, or to engage in spasms of self-deception so as not to have to confront them.


The World Turned Upside Down

Over many years, I wrote about a number of controversial issues which appeared to be all different from each other — ‘child-centered’ education theory, the consequences of divorce and lone parenthood, immigration, multiculturalism, minority rights, man-made global warming, the war in Iraq, Israel and the origin of the universe. Because they were all so disparate, it took me some time to realize that they had a couple of big things in common. They were fundamentally anti-west (yes, even the militant atheists who were after all gunning for the core beliefs of western civilization). And they were all issues on which, in the progressive circles that controlled public discourse, only one point of view was permitted. All dissent was mocked, vilified, and treated as totally beyond the pale. But since that dissent very often consisted of stating the facts in the face of ideology, prejudice or even – as with the deranged and obsessional hysteria against Israel – genocidal bigotry, reason itself along with the defense of life and liberty seemed to be turning into truths that dared not speak their name.

. . . I also noticed that society seemed to be becoming generally more and more irrational. Emotion was increasingly taking the place of reason. There were displays of mass hysteria, as seen on the streets of Britain with the death of Princess Diana when epidemic ‘grief’ over someone no one knew other than through her carefully manipulated (and distorted) media image created an ugly mood that even threatened the monarchy itself. A very similar mass irrationality around a cult of personality onto whom people projected their hopes and fears took hold in America, when Barack Obama gained the Presidency having been portrayed, literally, as a second Jesus Christ – and during a campaign in which the copious evidence of his extremist background and associations was simply air-brushed out of the picture.


Young Boy Strip Searched by TSA

Let’s get the facts straight first. Before the video started the boy went through a metal detector and didn’t set it off but was selected for a pat down. The boy was shy so the TSA couldn’t complete the full pat on the young boy.