Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Which I Decide that life as a "Dissident" Doesn't Sound So Bad...

I found this nifty little piece on the Terry Report about the backlash against TSA protesters. I agree with what he says about the way dissidents are treated in the United States. Something funny has happened since the phrase "Live Free or Die" was first written, where it is now "Live as Securely as Possible and Don't Acknowledge That There Are Inherent Risks In Life."

From the "pro-life" movement to airplane security diehards, there seems to be a feeling in some circles of American culture that any threat to life, no matter the size of the threat, is unacceptable -- even if there might be a very good reason to disagree. This attitude is what leads the supposedly 80% of Americans to support the new security measures (um, 85% percent of THAT group doesn't even fly...), despite the common sense that what the TSA is asking is unacceptable.

Flying is inherently a risk -- you are 30,000 feet in the air in a pressurized canister. Being American is a risk -- a lot of people aren't big fans of us. Being a woman is a risk (where are the background checks for every creep who we come into contact with?), being in a foreign country is a risk, eating trans-fats is a risk, crossing the street is a risk -- guess what? The world is risky.

Let's minimize the risk associated with flying, let's minimize it as much as we can -- WITHIN REASON. Strip searches are not reasonable. The line that we are being fed, that we give up our rights when we buy a plane ticket, is not only unreasonable but UNTRUE. I bought a plane ticket from a private company, not the government, and no private company has the capacity to remove my rights. Fun fact: NEITHER DOES THE GOVERNMENT. Rights are rights, folks, and the government is supposed to protect us from unreasonable search and seizure, not subject us to it as a condition of civilian travel.

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