Can We Please Stop Now?

Three thousand people died on 9/11 as a result of the worst terrorist attacks in US history. But ten times that many people die every year in traffic accidents, and I don’t hear anyone calling for an outright ban on automobiles. So this has clearly never been just a public safety issue. Maybe a 9/11-style attack once a generation is simply the price we must pay to live in a free society? There I said it.

I know the victims and their friends and family don’t want to hear that — they have no doubt found some solace in avenging the deaths of their loved ones by engaging in the sisyphean task of ridding the world of terrorists. But honestly, for the other 300 million of us in this country, who have had to endure the DHS, the TSA, and all of the other bullshit we’ve been enduring for the last ten years, we’ve had about enough of it, and we’re ready to try something different.

The stories about TSA agents groping our children, and asking our 95-year-old grandmothers to take off their adult diapers, is enough. Enough. But then, today, we are told that the next round in the arms race with al Qaeda is allegedly terrorists who are willing to have bombs surgically implanted in their bodies in order to thwart airport security. Really? If you thought cavity searches were bad before, wait until they start doing them arthroscopically.

At this point, it should be obvious to any thinking person that the government is impotent to respond to this. There are a number of quotes that come to mind. First from Frederick Douglass: “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress.” I think we have just defined that limit. It is my sincerest hope that no American is going to submit to surgical inspections at security checkpoints. If you are reading this, and think this is at all a reasonable approach, do us all a favor and take your own life. The second quote is from H.L. Mencken: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and thus clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” Please allow me to introduce you to the newest TSA hobgoblin: belly bombs. One with an impressive pedigree that includes nail clippers, hairspray, three-ounce bottles of liquid, shoe bombs and underwear bombs.

How much farther are we willing to travel on this bus to Crazytown, America? I don’t know about you, but this is my stop.

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