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TSA: Thumbs down on the pat-downs
November 21, 2010 - Ron Hart
November 19, 2010 -
By Ron HartGovernment, which grows not out of necessity but by insisting upon itself, needs to slow down. We need to revisit the balance among freedom, cost and security and not continue to double down on bad policies.
The latest is the TSA's (stands for "Thousands Standing Around") directive to be more intrusive in its new "enhanced pat-down" policy. Maybe the TSA seeks to expand its self-serving role, or maybe the unionized agents of the behemoth TSA were just getting bored. Either way, it is unnecessary.
This is the part that will scare Juan Williams: the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has told the government – and Muslims – that this procedure violates their religious rights. Now it looks like our government will back off from frisking and even body-scanning Muslim women.
Since the TSA won't be able (Enlarge) TSA officials check check passengers entering a security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010 in Atlanta. In a climate of Internet campaigns to shun airport pat-downs and veteran pilots suing over their treatment by government screeners, a senior Republican lawmaker is urging the country's busiest airports to scrap federal screeners altogether. (AP Photo/David Goldman) to aggressively pat down Muslims, they will now have more time to pat down Irene Smith, the 62-year-old retired school teacher from Canton, Ohio. Irene, this is your lucky day! If you are subjected to 10 "random" pat downs in a row, the 11 one is free!
In a feeble attempt to justify her decision, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said "Women can opt for a same-gender pat-down." So ladies, your choice of who gets to feel you up is either a creepy male who has not even bought you a cocktail yet, or a woman in comfortable shoes.
The new body scans are no less troubling. It was recently reported that the U.S. Marshals Service admitted to storing images from courthouse body scans. The TSA is suspected of doing the same, so when the Obama administration started its big push against obesity, it was because they wanted to look at better bodies.
In lieu of full body scans or pat-downs, and to accommodate Muslims, Nancy Pelosi will have her personal California feng shui guy look passengers in the eye and read their Karma. As we know, liberals are OK with their policies being a disaster as long as their stated intentions are good.
To recap the new TSA intrusion, Muslims will be subjected to less security, we average Americans will get more and, as an added bonus, even longer lines at airports.
The TSA seems accountable to no one. Increasingly big brother-ish airports have been running a scary message over their PA systems which begins ominously, "Effective immediately: By order of the Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration, liquids or gels weighing more than three ounces cannot be carried on planes."
Why have they run that for over four years now? This from the same TSA that does not provide shoe horns, and that brought us the confusing color-coded threat levels. If I have it straight, we are supposed to worry when we hit the "lavender" level, but that could be wrong.
If authorities want to assist the flying public, they should taser anyone behind you who is a seat-kicker. Flying is hard enough. I don't like being around kids on airplanes. With all the whining, drooling, fidgeting and childishness, I just feel I am setting a bad example for them.
Why we are so afraid to try to change the TSA? The high-handed, Obama/Pelosi/Reid-like, "it's for your own good" attitude they display somehow discourages inquiry into what the heck they are really doing. Such is the nature of a government bureaucracy or a corrupt church: avow your moral justification and superiority and let no one question what you do.
Sadly our government, founded on liberty and tasked with "providing for the common defense," is slowly being taken down by deluded notions of political correctness while bestowing equal rights on our enemies. Common sense – and our safety – are being sacrificed.
If there is a simpler, less intrusive and more efficient way to do something, we should try it. Our country was founded by a bunch of folks who thought there was a better way.
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