I have been at the forefront of fighting the TSA’s “enhanced security” theater in Texas for some time. We have gained so much momentum in the last month that now even the Feds are taking notice.
Yesterday, the US Department of Justice waltzed into the Texas Capitol with a letter to the Lt. Governor, saying that if Texas passes the HB 1937 “patdown” bill, which bans government officials from legalized molestation as a condition for entering a public building or airplane (and which, by the way, I helped write), that they will respond by turning Texas into the TSA equivalent of a no-fly zone.
Unfortunately, the Senate may be caving. But you can help! The best thing you can do right now is encourage anyone and everyone you know, especially from Texas, to send phone calls and emails toward the Texas legislature telling them you support human dignity and HB 1937.
Click here to get more information, to use our 30 second contact-the-Senate form, and to find out how to call every Texas Senator. This is our “Come and Take It” moment and we have very little time, so get going!
Kathryn Muratore, James Ostrowski and I were recently discussing over email one proposal some people are bandying about as a response to the TSA naked scanner abomination (see Kathryn’s blog Stop TSA Scanners). The proposal is to serve the TSA by filing some kind of “Show Cause Order” in federal court, to demand the TSA “give a reason for them to continue to do these searches which are clearly unconstitutional”–thus you bury the TSA in paperwork and back them into a corner using this “Show Causes” maneuver. Now this sounds a little desperate and crankish to me, sort of like all these “common law court” nuisance liens the gold-fringe-on-the-”admiralty”-flag crowd like to file (which may be heroic, though futile, since the states just criminalize it).
But I don’t know; I’m not a litigator. Ostrowski’s view was: “I’m a big believer in direct action and not litigation. The best way to stop this is through a boycott and/or street theater–make fun of this odious practice.”
He has a good point. Earlier this year I was on a panel (discussed here) with Hoppe and DiLorenzo. In response to a question about the prospects for liberty, I noted the importance of economic literacy, in part to deflate the mistaken belief on the part of decent people that the state is necessary and legitimate. Without the tacit support of the state’s legitimacy, it could not exist. And this is why it is important to laugh at the state. Hoppe agreed, saying he has actually considered featuring a libertarian comedian at an upcoming event, and DiLorenzo explained that one reason he often mocks the state and its media cheerleaders is for this very purpose–he gave the example of ridiculing Rachel Maddow in a recent LRC post where he referred to her getting her “panties in a knot”. We need to show these people as buffoons and clowns and to make people take them less seriously. (See also the Mises Daily article Laughing at the Regime.)
So: laugh at them, mock them, ridicule them, jeer them, scoff. Do not take them seriously.
[Cross-posted from LRC]
From CNET via Boing Boing, we find out something which should be shocking to no libertarian: the federal government lied about not keeping images from the body scanners installed in airports.
For the last few years, federal agencies have defended body scanning by insisting that all images will be discarded as soon as they’re viewed. The Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, for instance, that “scanned images cannot be stored or recorded.”
Now it turns out that some police agencies are storing the controversial images after all. The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse.
And to think that some people actually trust the government enough to despise Wikileaks and even support the death penalty for people who reveal state secrets. When you are dealing with a known liar, trusting the word of a complete stranger is probably preferable. And the state has the same relationship to truth that a prostitute does to chastity. Both will tell you whatever you want to hear, but only an idiot would take them at face value.
Just when you thought the whole scene at airport insecurity couldn’t get any more surreal, this just in. A TSA supervisor was beaten up by one of his colleagues. Writes Scott Carmichael on Gadling.com:
During a training session at Miami International Airport, a TSA supervisor joked about the size of the manhood of one of his colleagues who had just stepped into the machine. The supervisor was operating the equipment when he made the remark – so his joke could have been based on facts.
Later that day:
Rolando Negrin couldn’t appreciate the jokes about his genitalia, so at the end of his shift, he used a police baton to beat up the supervisor in an airport parking garage.
One could easily find this episode filed under the heading, “Stuff Somebody Said About the TSA that Can’t Be True!” I admit that even I couldn’t believe it until I followed the link to TSA’s own blog for confirmation. (Wait. TSA has a blog? WTH?)
I won’t make any further editorial comments. Sometimes a story speaks for itself. The next time you’re in line wondering why you have to throw that perfectly-sweetened latte in the trash, think about the guy manning the video screen beating the crap out of his boss. That should be good for a couple laughs.