A Little Extra

After the 9/11 attacks, Americans reasoned that if they had to give up a little extra time at the airport in exchange for security, that was a bargain they were willing to make. As the NSA revelations demonstrate, however, that devil’s bargain led to a slippery slope.

9 thoughts on “A Little Extra

  1. Ted,

    The biggest problem with the TSA’s argument was how easily it was falsifiable. Let’s say the screeners — they who, in some cases, did not graduate high school; they who, in some cases, have criminal convictions; they who, in some cases, have been documented by passenger videos making comments that would get you or me punched in the mouth, fired and sued — caught every single diddly terrorist trying to get onto an airplane.

    Get that? I’m gonna give them a 100% success rate. Which is impossible. But go ahead with it.

    The terrorists will simply pick OTHER targets. Look at Timothy McVeigh. He blew up a federal building in Oklahoma. Nothing against Oklahoma, but what ever happened there BESIDES Tim McVeigh blowing a building to Kingdom Come? Should we put Dover, Delaware, on lockdown? What about Sarasota, Florida? Hell, is Muncie safe? This is a huge country with literally millions of potential targets. Even if you drafted every single citizen, you couldn’t police all the spots.

    The only benefit? It conditions us the way they want us.

  2. Yes…a “LITTLE” extra time and also a “LITTLE” less privacy at the airport. I think it was during this issue all those years ago that I was first introduced to that perfect Benjamin Franklin quote:

    “Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”

    When has forfeiting our rights ever been a good idea? That’s how I see it. It’s like violating the 2nd Amendment to make us feel safer. It’s wrong. It is also once of the worst hypocrisies in existence: we are still somehow the freest people no matter how many freedoms we are willing to give up.

    Alex,

    I don’t think the ‘serious’ terrorists are thinking of planes either. They’ve moved on to easier targets indeed.

  3. Extrapolating to 2025: “If it means 375 million people living in solitary confinement in highly profitable (and subsidized) private prisons, it’s worth it.”

  4. The citizen in the cartoon, and, to a certain extent, the caption, misses the point:

    The government is completely uninterested in protecting you.

    The government is very interested in policing you.

    Slippery slope arguments are pretty much universally fallacious, mostly because if the bad thing that is feared is caused by the policy in question, then the policy is guilty of the bad thing — period, no slippery slope. If the bad thing may or may not be caused by the policy, then there is no argument in the first place. The claimant is simply indulging in a virulent form of idle speculation.

    In matters of security and terrorism, there is no slippery slope to a police state — it’s simply the actions of a police state. There is no balance between freedom and security because the government doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your security. Most shipping containers entering the U.S. via the sea are not checked. The Coast Guard is defunded year after year. These policies are direct assaults upon U.S. security and supported by both parties because the position of both parties on your well being is fuck you.

    So the next time you hear someone claim that there is any relationship between security and civil rights, in any way, request that they back up their ludicrous claim that the federal government cares, in any significant way, about U.S. freedom or civil rights.

    (. . . which is why alex’s statement, below, becomes very, very valid.)

    Also — Jack Heart: I agree. The lack of well-regulated militias incorporating gun owners in this country is completely contrary to the framer’s intentions and is the source of much of our present trouble.

  5. Sekhmet,

    All too true. I think I will use your well articulated points on slippery slopes, security, and rights. A government either is implementing a police state or it isn’t. Our terrible port and coast security cannot be emphasized enough on the point of our government’s true intentions. It is so easy and critical…and neglected.

  6. Jack – you are so right – our gov’t is so show and no go – real serious considerations are given no attention. It can and may come back to haunt us. Do you remember when George Dubya tried to approve the sale of one of our largest harbours to an Arab buyer? Gosh Darn! Probably not, huh?:^) I don’t blame you! It’s so hard nowadays to decide whether gays will go to hell, or whether people who disagree on basic freedoms are actually spies or enemas of our RePublic, But, if’n yoose are a reel, tough American, it’s hard to remember things that don’t affect the price of gasoline or stuff at the Dollar Store…

  7. rikster,

    Wow, I had forgotten that one, so thanks for that, but after your mention, I vaguely remember being dumbfounded though I was at the time probably 15 or 16. 🙂

    The rule of thumb in the media and public at large is that if “my guy” is doing it, it’s ‘OK.’

  8. I went to a golf tournament with my son some years ago and at the gate every bottle of water had to be disposed of in trash barrels before entering.

    I wanted to ask the security people how they felt standing so close to all that confiscated explosive stuff in the water bottles. They should have demanded hazardous duty pay and life insurance to support their loved ones in case they were to die in the expected inferno. But I wanted to enjoy the day with my son even more, so I didn’t.

    I mentioned how ridiculous it was for an airplanes pilot to be searched before entering an airplane, having to turn over his fingernail clippers to security. If you can’t trust the pilot with his clippers or with his fire ax in the cockpit, do you even want him on the airplane, much less actually flying it?

    I brought up the ridiculousness of this at a social gathering, and one of the domesticated cur males accused me of aiding the terrorists. What really absurd is these curs don’t realize how owned they are by the totalitarian fear instilled in them by our fear mongering rulers.

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