I have to face the “Ver are your papers!” brigade this morning as I once again make my way through the carbon-dioxide soaked skies to the land of growing taxes, rampant regulation, and no plastic bags—but also one very pretty ocean and tasty wine.
Just in case I am grabbed out of the pen for a “screening”, I have selected my cleanest and sturdiest pair of undershorts. And you can be sure my grooming habits will be such that I will be able to withstand the closest scrutiny.
Aren’t we glad we did this to ourselves? Appointed another zealous and growing bureaucracy over us? One with guns, power to search without cause, and harass and humiliate even the humblest person? Don’t we feel safer? Isn’t feeling safe the most important thing in the world?
I mean, just look at all the terrorists TSA has caught! That number rivals one, being one less than one—and actually being many less than one less than one, if you count all the useless searches as innocent people.
Now it seems rich to protest! And time to re-read this classic bit of prognostication: TSA Expands Jurisdiction To Sidewalks: Where Is The Left? Please to note this was written before your humble author learned of these events:
Earlier this year, Amtrak passengers in Savannah, Ga., stepped off into a TSA checkpoint. Though the travelers had already disembarked the train, agents made women lift their shirts to check for bra explosives. Two weeks ago, armed TSA and Homeland Security agents hit a bus depot in Des Moines, Iowa, to question passengers and demand their papers.
These raids are the work of TSA’s “Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response” (VIPR or “Viper”) team—an acronym at once senseless and menacing, much like the agency itself.
On June 14, TSA head John Pistole informed Congress that VIPR teams had carried out “over 3,700 operations in mass transit and passenger railroad venues” over the last year—and the agency wanted funding for more.
Viper! They actually call themselves viper! Such rampant self-esteem and baseless self-regard we can accept in college students and politicians, but not in armed TSA agents (defined as people who had a difficult time finding more productive work).
I rarely ask, but if could spare a moment, could you please send a message to your Senators and representative and ask them to de-fund the TSA? Or at least subject them to civilian oversight, possibly in the form of citizen boards, much like those overseeing some police departments.