The 'Show Me' States

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Recently
by Becky Akers: Presenting
PreCheck: FascistandFurious

 

 
 

You might think
the New York Police Department, with its notoriety for abusing civilians
and a
list of scandals so long it requires its own page in Wikipedia
,
would avoid furnishing us with yet another reason to despise it.

But no. Like
many such forces across the country, the NYPD has grown increasingly
fond of strip-searches — and not just of suspected criminals. Cops
want to denude all of us, all the time, even when we're merely walking
down the street, minding our own business.

The NYPD's
Commissioner, Ray Kelly, recently confessed this stunning ambition
during a speech at the New York City Police Foundation. He "said
the department was working with the Defense Department to develop
gun-scan technology u2018capable of detecting concealed firearms,'"
the
New York Times reported.

The Defense
Department? OK, New York City's host of bureaucrats could very
well collaborate with Al Qaeda, given how badly they gum up the
works. But otherwise, does the NYPD really need to sic the Pentagon
on the taxpayers who foot its bills?

Uniformed thugs
who expect us to divulge everything suddenly turn shy when we demand
the same regarding their mechanical Peeping Toms. We know virtually
nothing about Tom except his real name: Terahertz Imaging Detection.
The photo the Times ran with its article shows something
akin to thermal imaging i.e., the subject's waist glows green
thanks to a pistol stuck in his belt.

But this isn't
the only gizmo the NYPD and other cops nationwide focus on us. They've
also unleashed another, more invasive technology: "whole-body
imaging," or, as the perverts at the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) now prefer to call it, "advanced imaging
technology."

You're far
too familiar with these scanners. They're the ones at the airport
that expose us while also irradiating us — the
ones that the European Union banned
out of "health and
privacy concerns" and that have spawned such groups here as
wewon'tfly.com.

What you may
not realize is that police nationwide have been wielding these offensive
contraptions against the folks they supposedly "serve and protect"
for several years now. In September 2010, forbes.com revealed the
deployment of "more
than 500 backscatter X-ray scanners
mounted in vans that can
be driven" around neighborhoods nationwide, "snoop[ing]"
into whatever rouses a cop's curiosity. "…the company says
law enforcement agencies have … been using them domestically…
u2018This product is now the largest-selling cargo and vehicle inspection
system ever,' says Joseph Reiss, AS&E’s vice president of marketing.
… The New York Police Department confirmed that it uses the technology
but wouldn’t divulge specifics."

Enough to make
you stay home except for those trips to the gym, isn't it?

Not surprisingly,
cops love these gadgets. And while the New York Times cheerily
pretends they'll only violate the Second Amendment with them, we
all know the boots on the ground will also aim their X-ray vision
at the wannabe actress on her way to an audition. Expect AS&E
to profit from hundreds of millions of our taxes over the next few
years.

But there's
an advantage to the ogling from Your City's Finest, one we've seen
with the TSA: punish law-abiding folks as though they're crooks,
and they learn to loathe you. TSA
now ranks with the IRS as the federal agency Americans most hate
;
there's no reason that electronic strip-searches will be any more
popular on the avenues than they are in airports. Americans' inordinate
and craven love for cops may finally end.

Cops' excuse
for virtually strip-searching us is the same as the TSA's: we have
to thwart the bad guys. And the police-state's apologists are fine
with that, claiming that if you've got nothing to hide, you've got
nothing to fear. They seem oblivious to the fact that dragnets don't
punish only thieves and rapists but violate us, too.

And they chill
all sorts of things we value highly, such as free discourse. Are
you liable to mount your soapbox and declaim against Obamacare when
you know the van parked across the street is filming you au naturel?

What about
travel and socializing? Some flyers figure voyeurism is the price
they pay for a break on the Caribbean's sunny beaches — but is a
mere trip across town for dinner with friends worth flashing your
junk?

Meanwhile,
virtually everything the TSA finds on passengers is innocuous, embarrassing,
and of no relevance whatever to terrorism. Cops' gawking will produce
similar results.

For example,
searches have snagged passengers carrying more cash than Our Rulers
prefer. Stowing a generous wad in your pocket doesn't break any
laws. But the TSA "detains" such victims, forcing them
to justify their stash and grossly inconveniencing them — or worse.
In 2009, Steve
Bierfeldt of the Campaign for Liberty taped his interrogation and
bullying at the TSA's hands
when he tried to fly home with $4700
from a political fundraiser.

Imagine cops
who are still leering over your scan accosting you in front of friends
and family, ordering you to assume the position, and then quizzing
you on where you got your $600 and what you intend to do with it
before finally, grudgingly releasing you.

Often it's
not money that triggers a physical frisking but a medical device
or a prosthetic limb. The TSA is infamous for tormenting invalids
when its "whole-body imagers" pick up "anomalies."
Cops will likewise investigate anything unusual their contraptions
reveal, despotically shaming tens of millions.

The TSA has
annihilated freedom for a decade now; police departments have done
so for almost 150 years, since their introduction here in the 1850's.
It's past time we rid ourselves of both enemies.

February
25, 2012

Becky
Akers [send her mail] writes
primarily about the American Revolution.

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