Internationalizing American Insanity
Warning...rant. Nothing sets me off like airport security. The slide of the United STates into the world's foremost totalitarian police state is symbolized most clearly to me by the insane 'security' being imposed upon the nation's airports. The most disturbing aspects of this police state symbol, however, are not the scanners, the armed and uniformed quasi-military, the random searches, the repeated demands for ID, the ludicrous carry-on regulations, the arrogant petty interrogators... The most disturbing aspect is the people who line up...shoeless, speechless, obedient sheep, papers-at-the-ready, anxiously answering intrusive questions, with their hands on the shoulders of children whom they gently push toward the scanners. The spirit of America, land-of-the-free, is deader than the meal I am currently digesting.
And now Janet Napolitano wants to stomp on the corpse of American spirit to make sure it doesn't come back to life like the dead body in the closing minutes of a horror movie. What a horror it would be for the all-consuming state if Americans found their self-respect and independence once more.
CBS News reports, Janet Napolitano Urges"Next Stage" of Airport Screening. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will urge 90 nations to heighten their aviation security measures today to include screening devices that could prevent terrorists from bringing plastic- or powder-based explosives onto the plane. Not content merely to oppress America's own citizens, Napolitano wants to internationalize U.S. insanity. All corners of the globe are to snap-to and remove their shoes for American statism. If they don't, if they balk at making kids undergo 'child porn' scanners....well, then they will be endangering American citizens! Sounds like grounds for military invasion to me. Or, at least, grounds as valid as the invasion of Iraq. Let's roll! I am a non-American. I am planning all future trips so that I do not need to have stop-overs or any contact with American airports; my travel agent tells me that the most 'popular' request she receives is" can I avoid setting foot on American soil?" Because setting foot in America -- even to shuffle from one security area to another within the airport -- is degrading and frightening. Now the U.S. wants to make every airport an American one and make residents of other nations pay the price for its empire building in Iraq and Afghanistan. American atrocities in and occupation of those nations has made the U.S. a target of unprecedented hatred worldwide; the response of Americans has been unprecedented paranoia that encourages the pat down of children and the exposure of their genitalia in scanners. You people are f***ing INSANE!
And here I start to back off... Most of my family is American and, so, I cannot say"reap the whirlwind yourself!" because I know that most Americans are decent people. I know this from personal experience. But why, oh why are you tolerating and even endorsing the brutal empire-building that causes such hatred? Why are you willing to cyber-strip your own children to pacify an ever increasingly total State?
Leave the rest of the world alone. Do not convert the globe into your own personal insane asylum. America go home!
For more commentary, please visit WendyMcElroy.com.
Robert Higgs - 10/3/2010
Stephen Smith's comment baffles me. Air travel is scarcely the preserve of the wealthy elite; anyone who's traveled on a commercial airliner in the past thirty years knows that people who span a wide income range use this service. But what has the income of airline customers to do with Wendy McElroy's observations?
Being treated as a prison inmate by uniformed goons who insist on commanding and searching everyone, including small children and elderly, handicapped, fragile people who could no more commit a terrorist act than I could wave my arms and fly -- this sort of demeaning, arbitrary, idiotic treatment of the mass of people is precisely the cloth from which totalitarianism is cut. It's hardly a simple matter of waiting in a line. I am incapable of understanding how anyone, especially someone conversant with libertarianism, can think of it in such an uncomprehending see-no-evil fashion.
Stephen Smith - 10/2/2010
This just reeks of privilege...oh boo fucking hoo, people with enough money to travel frequently have to wait in lines every other week! Look, I have no love for the TSA or American transportation corporatism in general, but really – is this what makes America "the world's foremost totalitarian police state"? (And anyway, didn't Israel invent draconian airport rules?) I read shit like this and I think, no wonder nobody takes us libertarians seriously.
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