You might think that with its upcoming TV show, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would retire satisfied from the indoctrination wars. Alas, too much is never enough for tyrants. So signal a victory has not kept one of the DHS’s sub-agencies, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), from releasing the propaganda it traditionally does at Christmas. And as usual, its lackeys in the press leaped to publish the drivel under such headlines as "Flying tips for the holidays" (Hmmm. Tips of what?), "Airport Traveling Tips" ("Tip #1: The prudent airport never packs a copy of the Constitution. True, this mere piece of paper doesn’t take up much space, but what good is it?"), and "Help Keep Holiday Travel Hassle Free" (yeah, right).
Naturally, these articles share the presuppositions of the press release that spawns them each year. The first is that the reader-cum-passenger is an incorrigible idiot because he doesn’t adopt Leviathan’s priorities when it comes to flying. He wants to breeze through the airport with his dignity and belongings intact, board his plane, and take off sometime that week. On the other hand, Leviathan’s main concern is not transporting but teaching the idiots exactly who’s boss.
The articles also presume that we need guidance on such matters as packing suitcases and arriving at airports in time for flights. These simple tasks have become endlessly complicated due to our stupidity, not the TSA’s totalitarianism. Meanwhile, the agency expects us to study its website and learn to pack our bags for screeners’ convenience rather than our own ("neatly and in layers," in case you’re too busy working that second job and paying taxes to hustle over to the page with said instructions). Beware: those who lag in this patriotic duty will no doubt lag at checkpoints, too, delaying themselves and their fellow passengers. There’s a word that describes lines of serfs awaiting Their Masters’ permission to travel, but it never soils these perky, euphemistic articles.
And so, in the spirit of the "holiday" (sic for "Christmas"), I offer my own "Tips for Surviving the Torture of American Aviation if You Fly This Week":
- Stay home.
- You and I both know that you’ll ignore my sage advice what with Granny’s glazed ham and Christmas cookies beckoning. OK: if you must fly, pack nothing you can’t afford to lose. Those Thousands Standing Around airports are also Thieves who Steal Anything. Cash and jewelry disappear at checkpoints, clothes and electronics go missing from checked bags. One three-year period found the TSA’s employees looting $57 million from passengers nationwide, according to the 76,000 claims their marks filed.
- The Thieves also Sexually Assault passengers. Ergo, screeners may try to shove you into one of their infamous "millimeter-wave" scanners at the checkpoint. These contraptions peer through clothes to the bodies beneath. Yep, the Nazis paid government goons to leer at naked citizens, too. Yet the TSA insists it "ensures privacy" even as it strips us because it "remotely locates" its voyeurs. Translation: they and the machine’s monitor sit in another room, away from the scanner and the passengers it denudes, so that screeners can’t ogle their victims in person. The TSA further "ensures privacy" by asserting that the gizmos neither save nor share pictures — though the manufacturer touts the product’s ability to do just that.
With all that "ensuring," we might expect the agency to come clean as it pushes us into the scanners. It posts so many signs already it can surely add another advising passengers how much they’re about to reveal. But no. Robyn Blumner is a columnist for the St. Petersburg Times who was "directed…into a large machine" at Dallas-Ft Worth Airport. She thought she was being sniffed for explosives, not exposed to Peeping Toms in uniform — and no one told her otherwise. "Had I known [what was really going on,] I would never have agreed," she wrote.
The TSA’s security is not only meaningless but dangerous: its farce lulls passengers into believing that airports and airlines are safe. This lets the industry off the hook as far as actually protecting customers. Why shell out for real security when taxpayers are already buying — in all senses of the word — a sham?
On the other hand, flying is probably no riskier than it ever was. Our Masters lie about everything all the time. Why believe them when they allege that terrorists dream and scheme to pull off another 9/11?
Besides, a far greater threat stalks passengers: the TSA. Remember that these unconscionable thugs have already slaughtered one American outright while the hysteria they foster killed a second. Other innocents suffer in prison or pay huge fines when screeners’ warrantless searches find drugs or delicacies the State doesn’t approve, fake ID, immigration papers of the wrong color, or cash in excess of what Our Masters have decreed we need.
Only those willing to gamble their lives and liberty should fly commercially.
The TSA’s response to such wholesale plunder? It brags that it pays mighty few claims and then crows that the number filed has declined. Ya think? It also boasts that it hardly ever fires screeners for theft. Duh. No wonder they continue preying on passengers. And these bozos think we’re the idiots!
So…still planning to disregard my recommendation against flying?
Becky Akers [send her mail] writes primarily about the American Revolution.