Thursday, November 18, 2010

God bless Ron Paul

From his website:

Mr. Speaker, today I introduce legislation to protect Americans from physical and emotional abuse by federal Transportation Security Administration employees conducting screenings at the nation’s airports. We have seen the videos of terrified children being grabbed and probed by airport screeners. We have read the stories of Americans being subjected to humiliating body imaging machines and/or forced to have the most intimate parts of their bodies poked and fondled. We do not know the potentially harmful effects of the radiation emitted by the new millimeter wave machines.

In one recent well-publicized case, a TSA official is recorded during an attempted body search saying, “By buying your ticket you gave up a lot of rights.” I strongly disagree and am sure I am not alone in believing that we Americans should never give up our rights in order to travel. As our Declaration of Independence states, our rights are inalienable. This TSA version of our rights looks more like the “rights” granted in the old Soviet Constitutions, where freedoms were granted to Soviet citizens -- right up to the moment the state decided to remove those freedoms.

Read the rest here.


Kindred Spirit said...

I was just explaining to my seventh and eighth grade Geography students today that this country is beginning to look more and more like a democratic socialist state than a republic. It's a short step from democratic socialism to authoritarian socialism--better known as communism--and our beloved country is on a slippery slope. My prayer is that good men will do something to stop this diabolical disorientation before we lose even more freedoms. May Almighty God have mercy on our country, and may Our Lady pray for us all.

The Cottage Child said...

Being a life long (mostly Austin) Texan -- except for two years when I separated myself from my senses and was an (Manhattan) Islander -- I had long seen The Representative Dr. Paul as the King of the Fringe. Until I became a grown-up girl, left Travis county, and realized life was more than enchiladas, state employment, and the Democrat party.

He is right on, here. And about so many other things. He's not the Pres on my dream team, but he's a cabinet member, for sure.

And I second what Kindred prayed - "May Almighty God have mercy on our country, and may Our Lady pray for us all".

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Paul is right on target here. This is a good example of why no stereotype is a good basis to judge people by. I would not want this man to be President of the United States - even if it sometimes might feel good to vote for him, just to stick it to the in crowd. But we need people like him on issues like this.

Speaking of stereotypes, this has nothing to do with democratic socialism, or any other kind of socialism. That is kind of like saying the pro-life movement is making the country more like a Stalinist dictatorship.

(Fact: When Stalin consolidated his position in the Soviet Union, he had abortion outlawed. Because he had humanitarian qualms? Unlikely. Because he listened to the Holy Father? Less likely, Stalin coined the phrase "How many divisions does the Pope have?" Probably because he was planning to use up a few million adults and wanted lots of new Russian babies coming along to replace them. But if you want to deal in stereotypes, Stalin DID ban abortion.)

As a libertarian socialist with culturally conservative values, I applaud Paul on this point. I know that if John McCain were president, his party would be pushing the same lunacy, and Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney would too. I also know Ron Paul would stand up to them just as he is doing now.

We have a TSA always ready to fight the last war. Whatever the last terrorist tried, they are darn well going to search every man woman and child in the USA wherever that last terrorist hid his explosives. Next, some woman will hide the explosives in a body cavity. Some man will too. The next search procedure will be... Erin is right. Everyone should be shipped naked, but cryogenic storage would be even safer.

Anonymous said...

Erin, I have a different take on this, as you know.

Tonight, I thought back to my trip in August from Boston Logan to Zurich.

As I thought about it, I realized that I went through the full body scan at Logan because I remember that after I went through the first scanning machine, then I had to go through another machine where I had to put my hands way above my head and stand close to a screen. I guess that was the full body scan.

You know, and I have said this to you before, my safety is of the utmost importance to me. I am not a big fan of flying, but, hey, if you want to go to Switzerland/Europe every year, then I don't mind making the sacrifice of doing the full body scan! Probably, I will go back to Switzerland next summer to spend a week with my friends

Quickly scanning Ron Paul's whiny complaints about the new procedures, I notice where he says that the enhanced scanning would not have caught the "underwear" bomber from last Christmas Day. I wonder if this is true.

My guess is that it isn't!


The Cottage Child said...

Bern, me, too! I really do want to fly safely, but the problem is that smaller shampoo bottles, taking our shoes off, and being felt up, irradiated, and otherwise harassed in the name of "security" hasn't made anyone any safer. It's an illusion. Good intel is important, yes, but primarily, people being aware of what's going on around them is what begets personal safety, as proven by the airline employees and passengers who have managed - quite nicely - to keep several of these idiots from inflicting harm. I appreciate people who have not abdicated their civic responsibility of self-protection. I wish they didn't have to do it, but it's what works.

I would argue that the more we chase the latest (attempted) method, the less safe we are. The cow is already out of the barn at this point. By that logic, full cavity searches should be required of all airline passengers - it's the only way to be consistent. It's going to get uglier when these nimrods (terrorists) finally figure out that they don't actually have to get through security to do serious damage in an airport. There we'll be, sitting ducks, waiting for our search, a couple hundred deep - they won't even need to buy a ticket.

I'm not much for whining myself, but willful cognitive dissonance offends me even more, the participation in which seems to be the default of the average citizen
when it comes to airport (in)security.

c matt said...

He may not be ideal, but we have done and will do much worse than Ron Paul for president.

L. said...

The day that full cavity searches is required of all airline NOT the day I would stop flying (though I certainly would find it truly icky).

No one has an absolute right to board an airplane. It is a privilge for which they pay, in both money, and by surrendering some personal freedoms, such as the freedom to bring a cup of coffee past a certain point.

I have been subjected to some very "hands-on" searches in the past, in foreign airports. I found them extremely distasteful to endure, but by purchasing an airline ticket, I chose to put myself in a position to endure them.

I worry about the small dose of radiation some scanners deliver. I don't worry about anything else. I just can't bring myself to see these searches of airline passenders as an unreasonable invastion, unless they are performed on random people walking down the street.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

When the entire transporation system is heavily weighted toward flying, and our economy and culture is weighted toward the availability of flight, it is no longer a "privilege" or an "option." That happens with many technologies. If nobody willing to hire you is on a bus line, then you MUST have a car. If you have to be in one business meeting on Monday, another 1500 miles away on Tuesday, then you MUST fly. If you cannot secure food, clothing and shelter without being hired by someone, then being fired "for any reason or no reason" is not longer acceptable.

But Cottage Child pointed out the most fundamental weakness in all this: these searches do not make us safer. They just make politicians feel good that they are "taking action." The TSA is operating on administrative regulations within the Executive Branch. Our president could issue an order putting a stop to this. He should do so.

Anonymous said...

Siarlys, best not to mention the legality of Stalin's outlaw against abortion as his second wife is alleged to have had many abortions, presumably in private, and after outlawed.

When someone mentions socialism->communism, best to mention that our country is founded as a democratic republic and will not be overtaken by outsiders (too many veterans alive and defending our freedoms), and leave it at that. What happened in totalitarian regimes occurred after situations where there was no initial democracy, situations like Israel in which one party, or like post-monarchies as in the various fiefdoms of Europe.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Anonymous, aside from being either too cowardly or too disorganized to even assume a consistent nom de plume, none of your sentences connect with each other in any coherent fashion. I infer that you are not the same Anonymous who posted earlier, because those Anonymouses were fairly clear about what they were saying.

When someone mentions any subject, best to carefully examine the specific facts behind the label, and then talk about other relevant facts, rather than ominously cast about other labels as if that answers all questions.

I have a pocket copy of our Constitution. I know what kind of republic we live in.

Anonymous said...

But, Siarlys, the point was a many nations established as democracies such as ours allow for election to change the form of government to a form allowing rule by a cabal? With the upcoming annual Dec. 7 anniversary, it's again time to remind ourselves there was NEVER a question in our collective minds that another government would be able to establish some auxiliary leadership. And, there is the crux of the matter. People are so afraid that we will 'become' socialist, or communist, etc.. My fear is more that of the 'accidental' opportunism of ignorant leaders who've no basic understanding of what kind of country we encompass and attempts to appeal to the status quo, the corporate leadership or the mega soundbyte political quick-studies such as Ms. Palin who stands for what seems whichever the whispering wind blows.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Anonymous, you did not pose a question, you made a series of insinuating statements. There's not much point to having a dialog with someone who can't tell the difference. It remains unclear which theory of government by cabal you see materializing, or why. We may have some points of agreement on accidental opportunism (George W. Bush's entire time in office, perhaps?) and certainly on Palin, who clearly will say anything she thinks might make her president, without any idea what she would do with the office if she had it. But where does the TSA fit into all this?

Anonymous said...

The TSA is subject to the law of the land, and they will never be above the law. If, in a court of law, it is proven that they are acting above what our Constitution provides for individual citizen rights, then the law will not stand.

The first thing, it seems, when considering how undemocratic governing bodies 'take-over'
unstable governments by dictatorships and cabals of nazism, communism, etc. is that special police and protections are enacted, then the activities of these 'police' spread to whatever the dictator or cabal has set up as 'enemies against the people'.

I don't see why special legislation should be enacted to deal with the TSA such as an American Traveler Dignity Act, when our Constitution provides for implementation of freedoms against unreasonablenes, and the other rights. (And, our Constitution provides for rights of individuals, not corporations.)