So, today marks 16 days in a row that I’ve posted. And it wouldn’t take much searching to figure out that I’m not so good at posting regularly. Unless you count unposting, which I regularly do for months at a time. As we’ve reached the middle of the month, I’ve hit a veritable brick wall. I suppose I could always fall back on the 30 Days of Truth posts, but that seems like something of a cop-out.
I suppose that with working so much, I really just don’t have a lot to talk about. I won’t really talk about work, not that it’s very interesting anyway, so that knocks a big chuck of my time. I try not to get political too often, just because some diatribe on a blog like this amounts to little more than empty words. Plus, I’m not qualified to really make any suggestions. I don’t know anything about airport security, or macroeconomics, or the implications of a falling dollar. I just don’t know. But there is something I feel qualified to comment on. And that’s personal boundaries.
The Fourth Amendment reads thusly:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
And I suppose that by walking into the line, and silently consenting, we are, technically, waiving our right here, but are these searches reasonable? Is there probable cause? I’m no legal expert, but it doesn’t seem to me that purchasing a plane ticket and having a plan to travel from California to New York presents probable cause that you’re going to try to blow up the plane. But that’s enough on legal matters, I’m not qualified.
So let’s talk about personal boundaries. Now, when I traveled last month, DFW did not have a back-scatter x-ray machine. I went through a metal detector, I took off my shoes, I placed my bags on a belt. You know what? That’s okay. It’s annoying, sure, but it’s non-intrusive, and hey, if they catch something? Great. I did not have to show off the size of my penis, nor did I have to be patted down. But at many airports across the country, that’s not an option.
Randomly selected individuals get to choose: do I bear it all for the guard in another room, or do I let this other guard pat me down in front of everyone else? No no, not just pat down. That’s understating it. Do I let this guard touch my body up and down my torso, including my breasts, butt, genitals. You know. All those places where you were always told that it’s not appropriate to be touched.
But it’s the government, right? So it’s okay? How about the police, too. Get a speeding ticket, then you must have been rushing somewhere to commit a crime. Hell, driving a bus? a van? have a passenger? Given the same logic that governs air travel, are you traveling at all? Well, then it must be probable cause. Your car will be randomly selected to be stopped, and you can either have your nude picture taken, or the police officer can touch you however he likes. As long as we’re safe.
Just got to be safe. I mean, the TSA has an excellent track record, don’t they? All those terrorists and bad guys they’ve caught. Oh wait. They haven’t actually caught anyone, have they? But, you might say! There haven’t been any planes flown into buildings! It must be working! Sure. I’ll admit, there’s some measure of prevention. But, come on. Measures are becoming continually more strict, continually more invasive. And for what? I surely don’t know. Certainly not reason. Certainly not probably cause. And it certainly seems that our “personal effects” are being violated.
But. Who are we to complain? Citizen. Remove your clothing. You will be searched. This is for your safety.