Mike Curtiss (25
"Easily Shuffling Toward a Police State"
How easily we shuffle toward a police state
Every day seems to bring another atrocity from the Transportation
Security Administration. There was the nun who was frisked. There was
the screaming 3-year-old who was frisked. There was the bladder cancer
survivor who was frisked so hard he wet himself.
On and on and on. With his daily postings online at the Drudge Report
of airport security gone wild, Matt Drudge has pushed this issue into
the nation's face.
I refuse to call this abuse pat-downs.
TSA personnel are frisking Americans for the crime of refusing to
expose themselves at airports to full body scans.
If you refuse to be body scanned, you could be fined $11,000.
As the full-of-himself retired Marine general in charge of the TSA in
San Diego said, you lose your rights when you buy a plane ticket. Huh?
did the innocent citizen become the criminal? When did this become a
police state when agents of the federal can manhandle anyone and
everyone at an airport in the name of security?
This is bogus. This method has caught no terrorists. The best Janet
Napolitano “ our thickheaded secretary of Homeland Security ”
can offer is that she is pretty sure that this method would have caught
the Christmas Day bomber. Of course, the Christmas Day bomber flew in
from Amsterdam, which the last time I checked was not in the United
The time has come to rid us of the TSA. The agency is
like the man who claimed to be protecting Central Park against polar
bears. Told that there are no polar bears, the man said: See how
good I am.
The Department of Homeland Security is the schoolyard bully of the
United States. The people who run it are not very bright, but they have
a nearly unlimited budget and unlimited power. Any challenge to its
budget or its authority marks one as weak on terrorism.
So how did we come to this? Like all bullying, this one began at
school, where fear of lawsuits about discrimination and the like led to
the easy policy of zero tolerance.
Rather than just say no
to illegal drugs, schools invoked a zero tolerance policy for drugs. An
honor student was punished for giving a Midol to another girl,
embarrassing them both.
Principals embraced zero tolerance
because it took out of their hands any decision-making. Going by the
book is a convenient way to avoid responsibility.
As a bonus, zero tolerance meant that drugs as insignificant as
an aspirin must be dispensed by trained medical personnel, which
assured jobs for thousands of school nurses “ and expanded the
empire of their principals. Repeatedly, we expand the powers of the
state in the name of security. As with the TSA, we are not really any
Consider drinking while driving. Everyone opposes that. But the old
limit of 0.10 blood alcohol content is down to 0.08, not because it
makes us any safer “ most of the fatalities occur at 0.15 or
higher “ but because the lower limit appears to make us safer.
Already, the neo-temperance advocates want to drop that to 0.05. Eventually, it will be down to zero.
America is a binary nation. Things either are or they are not. We
divide our world into ones and zeroes. That is great if you are
programming a computer.
But such a binary approach to security is nonsensical and it leads to our hell at the airports.