Everything I Need to Know About the TSA I Learned in High School

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I have a
prediction about the TSA. The porn scanners will stay, one way
or another.

How do I
know? Because I have been an observer of government schooling
for 25 years and I see much the same institutional and sociological
dynamic going on in the airports as has been commonplace in government
schools.

Making a
comparison on an organizational level, we find similarity in the
centralization of authority that mandates procedures and doles
out lucrative contracts. Rapiscan, is the rough equivalent of
textbook publishers, for example. There have been endless textbook
conflicts over the years, yet no one ever proposes abolishing
this centralized system. Quite the contrary, the movement to further
centralization via national standards is stronger than ever. Don't
expect Rapiscan to be legislated away.

Local functionaries
are generally not free to use discretion in performing their duties.
However, they are never penalized and often rewarded for going
that extra mile in devising creative interpretation and application
of the rules in the name of safety. TSO prohibitions regarding
knitting needles and mother's milk are the equivalent of zero
tolerance punishments for grade school children who use their
fingers to mimic guns and bring butter knives to school. There
have been some attempts to overturn the really crazy zero tolerance
punishments, but the rules are still in force. Look for the same
pattern with TSA regulations.

In both government
schools and airports, the fascist strong-arming of the innocent
is long standing. In schools, there are lock downs, metal detectors,
drug sniffing dogs, locker searches and the occasional strip search,
all of which have their TSA counterparts. Even the no passing
notes, no talking to your neighbor and wipe that smile off your
face despotisms find their equivalent with no bomb jokes.

Witness the
marginalization of dissidents. In our land of the free/home of
the brave, anyone who challenges the system needs professional
help. Just as boys who, quite understandably, find it difficult
to bottle up their boundless energy and sit quietly for hours
on end in a boring classroom have been diagnosed with mental deficiencies,
so too have the refuse nicks who challenge TSA's Hobson's choice.

Of course,
the sine qua non of totalitarianism is the exemption of
the ruling class from the rules. The Washington "elite"
expects to go through airline security about as much as they expect
to enroll their children in DC's frightening schools.

Sociologically
speaking, there are some other interesting parallels, such as:

  • Bullies
    steal lunch money, TSOs steal from our luggage
  • Star athletes
    get special treatment, pilots' are exempt from security screening
  • Teacher
    sends a student to the principal's office, TSO puts a passenger
    in a penalty box and calls a supervisor
  • High school
    boys peep in the girls' locker room, TSA porno-scans attractive
    women

These parallels
might seem humorous, but in fact they are not. Eighty-five percent
of the American public spent its formative years in government
schools — and another 14% or so in private look-a-like schools.
As a result of this rearing, the alumni are more than likely to
revert to their previous roles. Already there are teacher's pets
who thank TSA goons for keeping us safe, snitches who rat on their
fellow passengers and class clowns who go through security stripped
to their skivvies. Yes, they all hate TSA, but rather than be
enraged at the injustice of warrantless searches, they are merely
irritated at the inconvenience, since as former students they
have been habituated to the position of powerlessness. The rebellious
passion and righteous rage have long been programmed out of them.
Like Columbine parents who dutifully sent their terrorized children
back to school, airline passengers will continue to submit their
children to TSA's sexual assault. It has become second nature
to them.

Now you should
understand what government schooling is for.

December
3, 2010

Cathy
Cuthbert [send her mail]
is a liberty activist and a member of the Board of Directors for
the Alliance for the Separation
of School and State
and for the Advocates
for Self Government
. She is a former homeschooling mother
(they grew up, damn it) who lives on California’s central coast.

Cathy
Cuthbert Archives

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