Security, privacy, airports, travel and government regulations

21 Nov

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

~Benjamin Franklin~

This should have been blazed across every headline in America after 9/11 when everyone wanted nothing more than a bit of security that we were not going to be under attack by terrorist groups from all over the world, all trying to kill as many people as they could, and apparently completely disregarding their own safety and well being.  Instead, one bill after another sacrificed American liberties for something as transient as security.

In the name of security, we now have no privacy, no personal dignity, if we are to enter an airport with even the remotest possibility of flying.  Invasive search tactics are now the price, along with plenty of hard earned dollars, for a flight anywhere.  You don’t need to worry about “racial profiling” in terms of this invasion now though–everyone gets to enjoy it.  Refusing also has a price tag–about $11,000 and your presence in a jail cell for an unspecified period of time, according to numerous news reports.
Is it really necessary?  Apparently SOMEBODY thinks so.  People are still flying, so they must think the price is worth the flight.  But in reality, the price for many people is the price of using mass transit or leaving the United States to visit another country for any reason.  In the United States, we don’t really have a useful train system, so that’s not usually a consideration for traveling.  Bus travel is also not highly regarded, as bus stops are notoriously unpleasant, dangerous, and uncomfortable, and the bus rides themselves aren’t much better.  Both trains and buses take inordinate amounts of time to travel any distance as well, and few people I know have considered them for travel a second time.  That pushes Americans back on the highways in their automobiles, and of course, that will help boost both the oil and automobile industries once again.

It almost looks like a concerted effort to end air travel, and is really nothing more than a single step from requiring all travelers to strip, submit to searches while naked, then don paper garments for their travels.  Of course their garments would be disposed of rather than returned to them, as it would be a biohazard as well as a security risk to fly these potentially tainted garments to their destination.  Then again, maybe that isn’t a bad idea.  It would be much cheaper than purchasing all of those super scanners and getting them into operation, as all travelers would be forced to pay a disposal fee for their garments as well as purchase the paper garments for their journey.  No more expensive cameras, fancy souvenirs, or expensive electronics on board a flight–anything like that would be flown on a dedicated cargo plane, for an extra fee, of course.  Why else did airlines start charging extra for luggage last year already?

 

I’m not a prude, but I also choose to wear clothing in public.  I think people who secretly photograph others in situations such as the restroom, changing room, under their skirts, etc. should be prosecuted and convicted of a felony crime.  It’s invasive, and most states consider that behavior a crime.  However, the same type of behavior is legal when it’s garnished with terms such as “airport security” and “flight security.”  The real kicker is that if you opt out, then you will be charged with a crime and if convicted, face jail time and an $11,000 fine.  For disagreeing.

You know, when I get to thinking about it, I never was all that fond of flying.  In addition, it’s expensive enough that if 2 or more people are going OR if you have two bags…it’s cheaper to drive.  For a lot of flights that were once real conveniences to travelers and businessmen alike, it’s also now faster to drive.  By the time you arrive with enough time to park, check in, get through security’s invasive check, and then board, you still have to get off the ground, land, find your luggage again, IF it made it to your destination in one piece, (remember that song about the broken guitar???) Then, you still have to get transportation to get around at your destination (or depend on taxis/friends/relatives to drive you around) before you have to repeat it all to go home.  Yeah…sounds fun, especially when you get to endure a federally funded sexual assault along the way.

No thanks.  I am looking at road trips with a whole new sense of anticipation.  I wonder how long before those are made equally as expensive, impractical, time consuming, difficult, and humiliating? 

We can’t have it all.  Security means that “Big Brother” takes care of you, I guess.  Liberty means you gotta take your chances.

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