As the revolt grows against the police-state type tactics now being employed at America’s airports, some alternatives to this insanity which have been proposed for years are now being heard during prime time on Fox News.
The general tone on Bill O’Reilly’s show has shifted a great deal just since last week when he had on two legal analysts who informed there were no 4th Amendment issues involved.
While O’Reilly himself calls the newest measures absurd, he seems too willing to accept them. Guests Ann Coulter and John Stossel were not.
From all of the information I've been able to gather, a couple of points raised by both guests require clarification. First, smart profiling involves many factors and it has less to do with race than one might be lead to believe by watching the videos. Coulter focuses on male terrorists, for instance, which would likely be a mistake. While there have been no reports to date of females involved in terror plots in the United States, there have been a growing number of female suicide bombers in the Middle East.
Profiling should be done based on countries of origin, travel habits over a designated period, and more. But it is a violation of common sense to be shaking down an 80 year old Swedish woman who was born in Duluth, Minnesota, who flies once every five years, a 40 year old American born and living all his life in Kansas City who travels regularly to Chicago on business, or a 9 year girl with red hair who is going to Disney World.
It makes no sense whatsoever to literally violate everyone to avoid offending one group.
To the points made by both Coulter and Stossel regarding what is a free market approach, I think the best line of all came from Stossel when he noted O'Reilly's "fantasy belief in the federal government".
Like so many other things, including the entire banking system and health care, the airline industry is so far from being a free market we can't even imagine what it would look like. Government interference over a long period and a 2001 rescue have distorted the industry.
For skeptics who think the government can do a better job than private industry, I recommend you consider history. I'll repeat what I said in yesterday's article on this topic:
Does anyone else find it paradoxical that the same government that cannot seem to figure out how to restrict the movements of people who do not even have a legal right to be in the country don’t seem to have any problem locking down the freedom of movement of law abiding citizens?
It turns out the deployment of TSA at airports is optional, a Monday Washington Examiner report informs. In addition to one's Congressional representatives, travel companies, we can now add contacting our local airport authority to our list of contacts to whom we should be complaining.
Apparently, people flying out of the Omaha airport have more to complain about than the average flyer; one traveler reported that everyone was being scanned and patted down in the Lincoln ABC affiliate's story. I notice an absence of substantive information in report; did the reporter as ask any questions about whether the machines will actually detect such threats as the "underwear" bombers explosives? Did she do any investigation on claims made by DHS that the machines don't have the capacity to store images? That fact is not difficult to refute, especially after one entity leaked images saved by one of the machines.
I think the people who are so docile, so willing to have their rights violated should be allowed to volunteer for a virtual strip search and groping by government workers if they like, just as the people who want high taxation should go ahead and write an extra check. But, those voices don't speak for the rest of us - I hope - so leave us alone.