The US continues down the path to outright and blatant tyranny and immorality with their new airport scanners, already dubbed “porno-scanners” (see photo). The scanners have, rightfully, come under scrutiny by many. Frequent flyers run the risk of dosing themselves with a good deal of radiation and, um, they also let government officials see you naked (and not in a tasteful way, how about letting people pose at least!) If you choose not to be irradiated and humiliated, you have the pleasure of being patted-down. Not in the “before you enter a baseball game” way, either. They call it an “enhanced pat-down” which simply means they grope your unmentionables. All of this in the name of security, or so they claim. While being completely unconstitutional (unreasonable search and seizure ring a bell?), the new scanners and pat-down procedure are morally repugnant as well.
After a few people decided they didn’t feel it right to grope or see children naked, a new guideline came forth, stating only those aged 13 years and above will be subject to it. Phew, security guard soul saved! There is an actual push back coming from many sectors of society, airline and popular vacation destination being just a couple.
What is the solution? How can we fly with dignity again? Break the government monopoly on airport security. As of now, the federal government (unconstitutionally) run all airport security. Private business would do it far better. Airlines have a great incentive to protect their customers, it’s called the “don’t go bankrupt” system. It works pretty well. Basically, airlines need their passengers alive, or people may stop flying with them (corpses rarely use air travel). Not only that, but businesses are much more attuned to what the market wants, or would be willing to tolerate, when it comes to airport security. Government, as a monopoly, has no such system. When people die with government-given security, government simply grows bigger. They get more power, a bigger budget and become more aggressive and invasive. In other words, government agencies are rewarded for failure, whereas business would be punished (by consumers) for failing to keep them safe.
The reason given for such extreme airport security measures is the risk of terrorism. No doubt, terrorism is a real, albeit overblown, threat. I imagine one is more likely to be struck by lightning while being eaten by a shark, than to be killed in a terrorist attack in the United States. I don’t have the figures on that, but I’m fairly positive. Furthermore, it is precisely the US government who is creating the terrorists in the first place! We are told they attack the US because we are free, or rich or just plain awesome (we aren’t that free, we’re getting poorer all the time, and any place where one is molested or photographed naked as a prerequisite for air travel can’t be that awesome). As far as I can tell, people don’t like to be killed and the US government has been in the people killing business for a long time. They kill in Iraq and they kill in Afghanistan. Every Iraqi who loses their parents, every Afghan who watches their children die become more willing to strap a bomb to themselves. At the very least, they will see those responsible in an unfavorable light. Of course, those responsible are the US taxpayers and voters. We (at least partially) fund the wars and consistently elect politicians only too ready to unleash death and destruction on the world. It’s no wonder there are those who would do harm to American citizens. Imagine if a foreign government started bombing where you live. Pretend for a moment you lost a loved one, that your neighborhood was reduced to rubble, maybe you were even tortured. I doubt you would be inviting the invaders over for dinner. It must be said that violence (except in the case of self-defense) is wrong. Whether the violence is perpetrated by al-Qaeda or the US government is not relevant. In other words, if one believes the US government to be morally justified in their use of violence, they cannot be surprised when the other side uses the very same argument when they seek to kill Americans.
If the US empire ceased it’s murderous ways and stopped propping up dictatorships (like Saudi Arabia) we would have fewer people trying to kill us. If that happened, then we wouldn’t need to be groped or photographed naked to get onto a plane. If that happened, we would be secure and free.