Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Nation of Five-Year Olds

Now here's a take on this whole latest terrorist flap that I thoroughly agree with. The basic thrust of this fine piece is that the whole "protection" apparatus of TSA is a waste of time. For starters, don't kid yourself, the TSA "professionals" are just a step above McDonald's workers, and they're under the illusion that they're actually protecting us. But the "fact of the matter is that there is nothing anyone…not even super-genius, secret government agents with perfect teeth and a lovely December tan…can do to make us perfectly secure. So it really doesn’t matter who’s manning the TSA checkpoints." Right on, brother. All signs point to this obvious fact. I heard a woman on NPR today talking about how TSA confiscated a bottle of vanilla she was bringing back from Mexico, but missed a 4-inch folding knife in her purse. Such stories are legion.

But we are so gripped by fear, we'll do anything "the organs" say is necessary to keep us safe. We have become a nation of five-year olds, whose parents keep telling us there's probably a bogeyman in every closet.

Here's the heart of it: "I’m saying that if we don’t want to live with the dangers then we might want to stop provoking them. I’m saying that there is no such thing as perfect safety and security; you are going to die someday and you probably won’t go to heaven. And i’m saying that our government consistently overplays any actual threats (and their probability) in order to control us through fear." Can anyone seriously doubt that the American people are afraid of everything? And the stuff they fear the most is the stuff least likely to happen . . . any terrorist who wants could blow himself up in the midst of a crowded airport terminal and kill lots of people. And how hard would that be? TSA wouldn't make a damn bit of difference in that scenario.
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