a thousand blind monkeys could do better

This keychain tool kit that I forgot was still attached to my carabiner was deemed unacceptable for me to have on my person by the Nashville branch of the Thousands of Sexual Assaulters due to its 1.375" knife, and was therefore confiscated from me at the security checkpoint for the airport (sorry, Weer’d).

confusedmalHowever, at both Nashville and SeaTac airports, this solid stainless steel pen (that could never hurt/kill anyone) was allowed through without a second glance, this push-dagger-styled spork attracted no attention at all, and I can guaranbloodytee the imbeciles working the x-ray belt had no idea what my magnesium and flint rods were in my backpack, much less the little waterproof capsule full of vaseline-soaked cotton balls.

And those are just the obvious items I feel like sharing at the moment.

So go on – tell me the lie that our "safety" is the TSA’s priority, or whatever that bullshit is they are spreading these days. I am far from the smartest or most creative when it comes to repurposing every-day items to destructive means, but if my sorry arse, complete with whatever common-place items I happen to have on me, could pose a significant material threat to an aircraft, your "security" is completely meaningless. Get the hell out of the way and let people go back about their lives without their genitals being televised or groped.

(Oh, and just to cap this massive fail-cake off, those ionizing-radiation-spewing backscatter scanners the TSA is taking out of airports? Not only does SeaTac still use them, through a variety of administrative failures, they are going to keep on using them. Yeah. "Safety" is our priority. Sure it is.)

consider the symbology

Uniformed, badged personnel, operating under the authority and power of an authoritarian set of laws granting them extra-Constitutional capacities, instruct you – an American citizen who has broken no laws and done no wrong – to adopt a position of submission – hands above your head – before entering a chamber that could, on quick glance, resemble a high-tech shower stall.  After that, you will be "allowed" to enter the secure side of the area these uniformed guards control. 

holocaustshowerWhat do you do? 

I dare say any educated student of history would tell the… entities… wearing the uniforms and wielding their authoritarian power to pack sand (in hopefully significantly more colorful language) and take their violations of basic human rights and shove them up their collective arses… not without cause, given what history has taught those who are willing to learn about such situations. 

Unfortunately, it would appear as though the average American is far from educated, or at least is willfully ignorant of inconvenient facets of history, given that this scene is replicated thousands (millions?) of times every day around the country, and disturbingly often with smiles on all parties’ faces at that: 

tsashower

Think about it. 

the tsa does not care about your health

This is me, not being surprised:

The Transportation Security Administration has been quietly removing its X-ray body scanners from major airports over the last few weeks and replacing them with machines that radiation experts believe are safer.

I have only been harping on this for about two years now, but, hey, giving two years’ worth of airline passengers an increased chance of cancer is no big deal, right?

Oh, wait, the Thousands of Sexual Assaulters still does not give a damn about you as a human being:

The TSA says it made the decision not because of safety concerns but to speed up checkpoints at busier airports.

Yes, there are obviously no safety concerns for devices that have no safe exposure level and may be causing cancer in your own employees.

Good grief.

It is a flat-out lie to claim that the Thousands of Sexual Assaulters were originally installed in their position of authoritarian power for our protection, or even to claim that they continue to operate for our safety – they are wasting millions of dollars a year, they have never once stopped a terrorist from boarding an aircraft, and now they are willfully and maliciously continuing to unnecessarily expose airline travelers to ionizing radiation when better alternatives are available to them (the best being disbanding the entire disgusting "agency" and incarcerating most of its management and staff for violations of 18 USC § 242).

that ugly "need" hydra

A few months ago, I happened to have a rather… interesting*… conversation with the warped and benighted mind behind the Twitter account of @1StopCity. A recurring theme in this particular conversation is that unless you have a particular "need" for something or to do something, you have absolutely no right to that thing or to do that thing, or, in his very own words, "Odds against you "needing" a gun negate your right to own one."

Oh, the places you could go with that kind of "logic". Obviously it is inherently and intrinsically incorrect – rights exist independent of any arbitrarily-defined concept of "need", and, furthermore, who is someone else to define what I need? – but let us examine its actual underpinnings for a moment.

In 2001, arguably our worst year for such things, 2926 people were killed due to terrorist’s actions, and at the time, there were 285,081,556 people living in the country. While not entirely accurate, one can therefore say you had about a 0.001026% chance of being killed by a terrorist or terrorist actions in 2001.

However, on the basis of that one-thousandth-of-a-percent chance, over the past 11 years, America has wasted in excess of sixty billion dollars (yes, with a "b") on a program that has never once caught a terrorist, has failed more times than we care to count, and is responsible for sexually assaulting and invading the privacy of millions of travelers a year… all in the names of "safety" and "security".

On the other hand, in 2001, 1,436,611 people were the victims of violent crimes – murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, so, again, while this is not entirely accurate, you can say you had about a 0.5039% chance of being the victim of a violent crime.

In other words, you were, more or less, five hundred times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than of terrorism.

So if the Thousands of Sexual Assaulters are the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread(TM) (and I am, admittedly, assuming 1StopCity would hold to that belief), then the notion of "self-defense" is a Totally Awesome and Earth-Shatteringly Necessary Thing, and, furthermore, the United States Government should subsidize it somewhere on the order of $30,000,000,000,000.

By my calculations, that works out to somewhere around one Glock 17, one middlingly-good AR-15, one tricked out Remington 870, and somewhere around 180,000 rounds of mixed ammunition for all three for every man, woman, and child in the country. I could live with that.

And this is why "gun control" extremists like 1StopCity have failed in the past, are failing today, and will invariably fail in the future – once you take apart their "logic" (and I use that term very loosely) and examine it for what it is, it dissolves like the Wicked Witch of the West swan-diving into the Pacific. Even looking past the disturbing and inherently flawed notion that you have no rights if he decides you do not "need" them, his position falls apart as soon as you consider it in light of actual, honest-to-God facts and figures, much less apply his "reasoning" to other concepts.

Of course, this is the same person who, in the same conversation, informed me that "There are no absolutes" so something tells me he would pull the standard anti-rights cultist tactic of wishing those facts away…

(* – "Interesting" because in response to the question, "would majority-approved slavery infringe on people’s rights?", his response was, and I quote, "As no one has any inherent rights, no, their rights wouldn’t be infringed. Would it be horrible? Yes."** This was the culmination of the above "you only have the rights the majority approves" conversation; at that point, I figured the discussion was over – how do you actually hold a conversation with someone with such a radically totalitarian position? – which is just as well, since he ended up blocking me for daring to have the gall to quote his own words back to him. Joe tried to continue the debate, but given that they were coming from such disparate starting points, it did not get far.

** – Speaking more specifically, this concept still befuddles me. If an action does not abridge a person’s rights, why or how could it be "horrible"? How do you determine the "horrible" nature of an action without some way of measuring – or even determining – if harm has been done to a person? After all, if a person has no right to be free of slavery, then slavery does not harm them, does it?)

you are cordially invited to pucker up and…

I have an increasingly nagging suspicion I am not going to make it to wherever I am going the next time I try to board a commercial air flight, which is unfortunate, because I have not seen my parents in a while.

Why? Because flying across the country is neither affordable nor easy any more.

Oh, the other why? Because if some spineless, high-school drop-out tells me to "Freeze", I am just going to keep on walking.

Make no mistake – the Thousands of Sexual Assaulters are not law-enforcement officers, they have no law-enforcement powers, and they are not legally empowered to detain you for any reasons. That said, they can, have, and will call over a legitimate police officer to detain you should they feel as though you are not respecting their authority as much as they might want, but something tells me they will be too busy during one of these idiotic "Freeze" drills to really do anything.

Of course, on the flip side, I am sorely tempted to wear my kilt – properly, at that – to go through security on the way into the gate, though I still need to come up with some appropriately demeaning, insulting, but not actionable things to say to the assaulter tasked to me should I end up in the nudie-scan line. And, yes, I do intend on making it personal – that jackoff voluntarily chose to take a job where he/she would be called upon to molest and assault hundreds of people a day, and invade the privacy of thousands of others; if they had wanted to retain any chance respect or standing in my eyes, they should not have done that.

be smarter than the equipment you use

So far, we, the American people, have spent somewhere in excess of sixty billion (yes, with a "b") dollars on a "security" farce that results in mind-bending idiocy such as this:

The TSA’s bungling reached a new low yesterday when a JFK Airport terminal had to be evacuated and hundreds of passengers marched back through security screening all because one dimwitted agent failed to realize his metal detector had been unplugged, sources told The Post.

The stunning error led to hours of delays, two planes called back from the runway and infinite frustration for furious passengers.

“The truth is, this is the failure of the most basic level of diligence,” a law-enforcement source said.

Apparently TSA agent Alija Abdul Majed is even stupider than your average employee of that particular disaster of a governmental agency – which is no mean feat, given their long, long list of failures and not a single "success" to their names – and somehow managed to not realize that his metal detector was not plugged in.

Seriously.

confusedmalHow can you be that stupid and remember to breathe? I have seen the backs (and fronts) of metal detectors, and while I cannot say as though I spent a great deal of time examining them in tremendous depth, I can say, with a reasonable degree of accuracy, that all metal detectors not only have lights indicating whether or not someone has metal on their persons, but also lights indicating whether or not the bloody thing is actually on. Simple lights. Lights that would be on if it were plugged in. Lights that would be off if it were not.

This is not rocket science folks. This is something that damned near every electronic or electrical device has and has had for about as long as we have had electronic and electrical devices. And the morons the Thousands of Sexual Assaulters hire are so moronic they could not even figure that out.

In some other situations, this kind of idiocy would be cause for a hearty round of pointing-and-laughing, but given that (a) Alija almost unquestionably will not be fired, (2) arguably millions of dollars was lost in terms of people’s time, aircrafts’ time, fuel expenditures, and the efforts necessary to evacuate an international terminal of one of the busiest airports in America, and (iii) this is not exactly unusual job performance for an "agency" that has become the laughing-stock of the world… Well, it is not so funny any more, is it?

The TSA is a product of the fears and phobias of the American people, and it will remain in place, screwing up everyone’s lives and molesting elderly women, until such time as we, the American people, decide we have had enough and inform our duly-elected representatives that it is time to get rid of this waste of money and space. Unfortunately, even with incidents such as these becoming more common, I do not see that happening any time soon…

i think you are going to need a bigger image

One of the more amusing exchanges I have had with the anti-rights cultist behind the @everygun Twitter profile was regarding "gun free zones" and their complete and total inefficacy. Predictably, this particular individual was dancing in the blood of the recent Chardon school shooting, and using the victims’ deaths as a reason to spread the idea of "gun free zones" to more locations. Yes, you read that right – the complete and total failure of a "gun free zone" in one location was a compelling reason to try that miserable idea at as many other locations as we possibly can.

Sometimes, the "logic" of "gun control" extremists makes me wonder…

In any case, @everygun went down a slightly different path this time around, by proclaiming that unless the facilities in question had Transportation Security Administration-level security checkpoints and controls in place, then they were not "real" "gun free zones", and obviously the solution was to enact those TSA-level measures at schools, government buildings, and so forth around the country.

*blink*

At this point, Sean Sorrentino and I pretty much boggled at the insanity that would make someone believe that subjecting children to ionizing radiation, sexual assault, and a prison-like environment would, in any way, be beneficial to anything, especially considering the almost complete "fail" that Thousands of Sexual Assaulters has become over the years. @everygun made the outlandish claim that no firearms had ever been found in the "sterile" section of airports, so, Naturally, I pointed out how incorrect that statement was, and, equally predictably, @everygun summarily dismissed those concerns as "fixable", without really addressing the small matter of "how".

"Do it again, only harder" is a longtime rallying cry of zealots of every bent.

Well, for future reference, if you want to know just how much of a horrible idea putting the TSA (or an equivalent) at our nation’s schools would be, you need only consider this graphic:

TSA Waste
Created by: OnlineCriminalJusticeDegree.com

In a just universe, that much fail concentrated in one organization would create a small, short-duration microsingularity that would simply erase the entire bureaucracy off the face of the planet, never to be heard from again. In our universe, the people in charge get raises, and we get our junk groped.

(Image courtesy of Joe Huffman.)